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Novichok vodka stunt on the rocks

11 July 2018

Salisbury Hospital says Tuesday that Rowley has experienced a "small but significant improvement" and is now conscious.

Ms Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were found unconscious after being exposed to Novichok on June 30 in Amesbury, Wiltshire - eight miles from the first attack in Salisbury.

"Charlie is still very unwell", the hospital said.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: "Officers from the investigation team have spoken briefly to Charlie and will be looking to further speak with him in the coming days as they continue to try and establish how he and Dawn came to be contaminated with the nerve agent".

The vodka surely hit the market at an unfortunate time, only a day before Dawn Sturgess, who had been exposed to "a large dose" of a toxin believed to be Novichok-class nerve agent, died in hospital.

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Police are investigating a possible link to the case of Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal - who were poisoned with the same substance in nearby Salisbury.

The Sturgess family added: "Our thoughts and prayers also go out to Charlie and his family and we wish Charlie a speedy recovery".

Britain has blamed Russian Federation for the attack on the Skripals - a charge strongly denied by Moscow which has challenged British authorities to publish the evidence.

Her family have described her as "a gentle soul who was generous to a fault".

Police officers guard a cordon in Salisbury, one of five locations in the city and Amesbury under investigation.

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Residents in Amesbury and Salisbury are being warned not to pick up "any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel" in a new advisory following the death of Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess. She had two sons, aged 19 and 23, and an 11-year-old daughter.

A auto seized by men in camouflage gear and gas masks belongs to a paramedic and RAF hero who treated Ms Sturgess, locals say.

REUTERSA vehicle feared contaminated is taken away.

Britain's public health authority acknowledged on Friday the concerns of people living in the area after the two incidents involving Novichok, but said it was confident that the risk to the public remained low.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing, which is leading the investigation, said police are looking for a container contaminated with Novichok which the pair are believed to have handled.

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