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British woman exposed to Novichok nerve agent dies

Press Trust of India  |  London 

A British woman has died, days after being exposed to a close to a city where a Russian former and his daughter were poisoned with the same four months ago, prompting police to launch a murder investigation.

Dawn Sturgess, 44, died in hospital yesterday after falling ill on June 30.

Her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, who also fell ill after being exposed to the nerve agent, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

said they have launched a murder investigation - the second major probe involving the this year, following the case of and his daughter in March.

Tests have revealed that the Amesbury couple were exposed to Novichok, a developed by the Soviet military during the Cold War in what is the first known offensive use of such a weapon on European soil since World War II.

believe the couple were inadvertently exposed to the same nerve agent used to attack and his daughter four months ago.

The accused of using British streets, parks and towns as "dumping grounds for poison" after the incident.

"This is shocking and tragic Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely difficult time," Neil Basu, policing, said,

"This terrible has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act," he said.

said she was appalled and shocked by the death of Sturgess.

"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," she said.

A postmortem will be scheduled to take place in due course.

Britain had demanded that provide details about the Novichok nerve agent attack on the after its citizens were struck down with the same poison.

Britain had demanded that provide details about the Novichok nerve agent attack on the Skripals after its citizens were also struck down with the same poison.

Russia, which is currently hosting the soccer World Cup, has denied any involvement in the March incident and suggested the British had carried out that attack to stoke hysteria.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 12:10 IST