A British couple visiting Salisbury over the weekend – the location of the March poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter – appear to have been exposed to remnants of the nerve agent used earlier this year, despite thorough decontamination efforts by British authorities.
According to The Independent, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill Saturday, just one day after visiting Salisbury city centre.
Sajid Javid, the home secretary, assured the public that decontamination following the March incident was thorough and posited the couple encountered the nerve agent, novichok, at an unknown location.
Mr Javid said that all sites in and around the Wiltshire city that were decontaminated following the Skripal case have been tested and are safe, while “any items that may have harboured any residual amount of the agent were safely removed for disposal”.
“There is no evidence that either the man or the woman in hospital visited any of the places that were visited by the Skripals,” he added.
“Our strong working assumption is that the couple came into contact with the nerve agent in a different location to the sites which have been part of the original clean-up operation.”
The two remain in critical condition in Salisbury District Hospital, The Independent reported.
Russian officials continue to deny any involvement in the March poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.