'Major incident' declared after two collapse in Wiltshire

Leroy Wright
July 5, 2018

British police are investigating after two people were left critically ill after suspected exposure to an "unknown substance" just miles away from the scene where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked with a nerve agent.

Police in Wiltshire, where ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in March, took the rare step of declaring a major incident after a man and a woman were found unconscious on Saturday in Amesbury.

Mr Basu added: "I would add that the complex investigation into the attempted murders of Yulia and Sergei remains ongoing and detectives continue to sift through and assess all the available evidence and are following every possible lead to identify those responsible, for what remains a reckless and barbaric criminal act".

Salisbury District Hospital was "open as usual" and officials advised people to attend routine appointments unless they are contacted to do otherwise. They were hospitalised on Saturday and authorities at first believed they might have taken a contaminated batch of heroin or crack cocaine.

Russian Federation has rejected British accusations of involvement in the Skripal poisoning, which sparked a diplomatic crisis that saw Russian Federation and the West expelling dozens of diplomats in tit-for-tat moves. "The possibility that these two investigations might be linked is clearly a line of enquiry for us", he said.

British police officers stand facing a residential property in Amesbury, England, Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

The U.K.'s head of Counter Terrorism Policing Neil Basu (right) and the chief medical officer for England Dame Sally Davies, speak at a news conference at New Scotland Yard in London on Wednesday.

Places in Amesbury that the couple may have visited, including a park and a Boots pharmacy, were blocked off by police as a "precautionary measure".

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Couillard noted that the weather is expected to cool down by Friday but "we expect to have this kind of episode every year". The move is part of the federal government's climate change adaptation in expectation of more frequent heat events.

"This must be done with great care, as you will appreciate, to ensure there is no outstanding risk to both those courageous officers and the public", he said.

Although he went on to say they haven't ruled out the two cases might be linked.

Britain blamed Russian Federation for poisoning Skripal with Novichok nerve agent, the first known offensive use of such a nerve agent on European soil since World War Two.

The statement from Wiltshire Police came only a month after police from 40 departments in England and Wales returned to their home assignments after months of working on the Skripals' poisoning.

Mr Skripal, 67, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, who was visiting from Moscow, collapsed in Salisbury in March and were treated for an extended period of time before being released from hospital.

Among them is the Amesbury Baptist Church.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and government ministers were treating the incident with "the utmost seriousness", her spokesman told CNN.

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