15:06 GMT +322 February 2019
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    British Prime Minister Theresa May (File)

    UK PM 'Shocked' Over Death of Victim Exposed to Novichok-Type Nerve Agent

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    UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that she was "shocked" by the death of a UK woman, who had been allegedly exposed to a nerve agent in the UK city of Amesbury.

    "I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones. Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder. The Government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy," May said on Twitter.

    On Sunday, the UK Metropolitan Police said that a woman, identified as Dawn Sturgess, died in a local hospital after being exposed to a toxic substance. The police have launched a murder inquiry.

    Last weekend, two people were hospitalized in Amesbury after being exposed to a toxic substance. The UK police announced late on Thursday that the couple, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were believed to have handled an item allegedly contaminated with the same Novichok military-grade nerve agent which was used in the recent attack on Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, located several miles from Amesbury.

    Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said commenting on the incident that Dawn's death does not have an impact on the risk assessment for the population of Salisbury and Amesbury, which remains low.

    "I know this news will affect more people than just those who knew Dawn — it will affect our communities right across the county. Understandably, this is likely to raise the level of concern in Amesbury and Salisbury. I would like to remind our communities that this tragic development has not changed the Public Health England advice, which is that the risk to the wider public remains low. This is being kept under constant review as further information becomes known," Pritchard said.

    On March 4, Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury. The United Kingdom and its allies have accused Moscow of having orchestrated the attack with what UK experts claim was the A234 nerve agent, albeit without presenting any proof. Russian authorities have firmly refuted the allegations as groundless.


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    hospital, contamination, death, Novichok, Theresa May, Amesbury, United Kingdom
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