Days ago, it was reported that two random people were poisoned by the same Novichok nerve agent that nearly killed former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal earlier this year.
Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rushed to Salisbury District Hospital, the same hospital that treated the Skripals after they were poisoned. Sadly, Sturgess, 44, didn’t make it, Scotland Yard said.
Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, came into contact with Novichok in the town of Amesbury, Wiltshire, and fell ill on June 30. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is “appalled and shocked” by Ms Sturgess’ death.
Scotland Yard has opened a murder inquiry after Ms Sturgess died in hospital on Sunday evening. Charlie Rowley, who was also exposed to the substance, remains in a critical condition in hospital, police said.
In a statement, the prime minister said:
I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones.
Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder.
The Government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, said:
This is shocking and tragic news.
Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely difficult time.
The 45-year-old man who fell ill with Dawn remains critically ill in hospital and our thoughts are with him and his family as well.
This terrible news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act.
Detectives will continue with their painstaking and meticulous work to gather all the available evidence so that we can understand how two citizens came to be exposed with such a deadly substance that tragically cost Dawn her life.
Dawn’s family has asked the media to kindly respect their privacy at this difficult time.