Amesbury novichok victim Dawn Sturgess, 44, dies

Police officer in hospital over Novichok exposure fears'given all clear

The officer was assessed at Salisbury District Hospital

British police say a woman in England has died after being exposed to Novichok, the nerve agent that also poisoned a former Russian spy and his daughter there in March.

Authorities have broadened their investigation into the nerve agent poisoning on June 30 of an English couple, seizing a vehicle in a third community in southwestern England, while the family of the woman who has died as a result said in a statement they are devastated by her loss.

Dawn Sturgess, a mother of three, died on Sunday evening the Met said in a statement shortly before 10pm.

The investigation into the nerve agent attacks is being led by Britain's Counter Terrorism Policing Network, and the police said around 100 detectives were working round the clock alongside colleagues from Wiltshire police.

The pair were admitted to hospital on 30 June after falling ill at Mr Rowley's Amesbury home and it was confirmed last Wednesday they had touched an object contaminated by novichok.

Moscow hit back by expelling Western diplomats.

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The Kremlin said on Monday it was sorry to hear that a British woman, Dawn Sturgess, had died after being poisoned by a nerve agent, but said any suggestion that Russian Federation was involved would be "quite absurd".

Javid, who is chairing a meeting of the government's emergency committee on Monday, has said there were no plans at this stage for further sanctions against Russian Federation.

Kier Pritchard, head of the county police force in Wiltshire, acknowledged that Sturgess's death "is likely to raise the level of concern in Amesbury and Salisbury".

An investigator wearing a camouflaged protective suit, gloves and a gas mask works with a police investigator in a protective suit in Rollestone Street outside the John Baker House Sanctuary Supported Living in Amesbury, southern England, on July 6, 2018 in connection with the investigation after a man and woman were found unconscious in circumstances that sparked a major incident after presumed contact with what was later identified as the nerve agent Novichok.

Neil Basu, the Met's assistant commissioner and leader of counter-terrorism operations, has said the force believes the novichok was in a vessel or container when the couple found it. "This means they must have got a high dose, and our hypothesis is that they must have handled a container", Basu said.

Detectives are still working to determine the source of the contamination.

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The poisoning of the Skripals with Novichok was the first known offensive use of such a chemical weapon on European soil since World War Two.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria, an assertion London calls absurd.

Three other men who also travelled in the van have been tested and show no signs of having been exposed to Novichok, Mr Basu said.

Their symptoms were the same as those of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who survived, but were very unwell. Her father was discharged on May 18.

She added: "The staff here at Salisbury District Hospital worked tirelessly to save Dawn. They did everything they could", Christine Blanshard, medical director at the hospital said.

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