Novichok poisoning comes despite clean-up costing ‘tens of millions’

New novichok poisoning comes despite clean-up costing ‘tens of millions of pounds’ after Skripals were attacked

  • After Russian spy and daughter were exposed, nine site were part of a clean-up 
  • But Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill 300 yards from original attack site 
  • It is feared that the novichok to which they were exposed is left over from then 

The multi-million clean up after Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned wasn’t enough to stop two others being exposed to the nerve agent. 

Nine locations in and around Salisbury were sealed off after the attack four months ago. 

But Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, are fighting for life after they were exposed to the deadly novichok substance in Amesbury on Saturday. 

The clean-up operation after the Skripals were poisoned involved soldiers replacing contaminated paving 

The military help clean up nine locations in and around Salisbury following the novichok attack four months ago

Paramedics wearing hazmat suits work on Mr Rowley before he is loaded into the ambulance

The clean-up is said to have cost ‘tens of millions’ but still wasn’t enough to prevent what is feared to have been an exposure caused by leftover novichok 

Around 190 personnel from the Army and RAF were drafted in to carry out the specialist cleaning of areas in wake of the March posioning. 

The work has involved testing for any remaining traces, removing items which may have been contaminated, chemical cleaning and then retesting.

But footage emerged of Mr Rowley being wheeled into an ambulance by paramedics wearing protective white suits after he was exposed just 300 yards from the restaurant were Skripal was eating when he fell ill. 

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Several places the couple visited or may have visited after they were exposed were locked down by police, including a church and Boots store. Ms Sturgess lives just 300 yards from Zizzi’s where the Skripals ate the day they were poisoned

Soldiers cleaned up nine locations in and around the site of the original incident only for two more people to be poisoned 

Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess have been named as the couple who were exposed to the substance in Amesbury

The sites targeted in the clean-up included three in Salisbury city centre – were sealed off from the public with secure fencing and protected by patrolling police and security guards. 

But it is now feared that this latest exposure to novichok could have been caused by leftovers of the agent from the attack. 

  • Almost half a cup of Novichok nerve agent was used in attack…

    Contaminated items from attempted assassination of former…

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The Maltings shopping precinct – near where former Russian spy Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed – was the first sealed off site to reopen on May 21.

The ambulance stations in Salisbury and Amesbury have also since reopened. The Bourne Hill office block, which houses council and police staff, has been decontaminated but is still closed for remedial work.

Soldiers replace ‘contaminated’ paving around the bench in Salisbury where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia fell ill 

A public rubbish bin (pictured) in the corner of Rollestone Street just yards from Ms Sturgess’ home where they frequented was cordoned off by police

Italian restaurant Zizzi and the Mill pub, which were visited by the Skripals the day they collapsed – remain sealed off, as does Mr Skripal’s £350,000 home. 

Also locked down are the Ashley Wood recovery compound where his car was taken, and the home of police officer Nick Bailey who was one of the first on the scene. 

Mr Rowley was lying on his back in a stretcher as the paramedic in a white protective suit pushed it inside as two police officers watched on

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs expects the clean-up to cost ‘tens of millions’. 

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Theresa May was aware of the latest incident and Public Health England said it did not believe there was a ‘significant health risk’ to the wider public, although its advice was being reviewed.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said officers from counter terrorism are working jointly with colleagues from Wiltshire Police regarding the incident in Amesbury. 


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