Police confirm poisoned English couple handled an item contaminated with nerve agent

Police officers are seen outside Amesbury Baptist Centre in Amesbury nine miles north of Salisbury southern England

Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked" by the death, which comes after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury. The Telegraph reported that the woman's name is Dawn Sturgess, and the man is Charlie Rowley.

Police say specialists have determined that a British couple in their 40s who visited the city of Salisbury were poisoned by the same lethal toxin - developed by the Soviet Union - that nearly killed Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the same English city in March.

"At this stage it is not yet clear if a crime has been committed", said Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills of Wiltshire Police who took the rare step of calling it a major incident.

The UK's Home Secretary Sajid Javid had not ruled out earlier that new measures would be imposed on Russian Federation in case Moscow's involvement in the poisoning of two Britons in Amesbury is proved. On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov again reiterated the Kremlin's dismissal of the British accusations.

Javid said "it's completely unacceptable" for British parks "to be dumping grounds for poison".

Police say Sturgess and Rowley were poisoned by the same lethal toxin developed by the Soviet Union that nearly killed Skripal and his daughter in March. "This, of course, fully dissonates with what the British authorities and the British media are saying about Russian Federation".

The couple's symptoms were the same as those of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who were poisoned in March.

They remain in a critical condition in hospital after exposure to Novichok by handling a contaminated item. The UK rushed to accuse Russian Federation of being involved, while failing to furnish any evidence.

A post-mortem examination of Ms Sturgess, from Durrington, is due to take place and her family has been informed, police said.

"However, I must say that we are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to".

So far, police do not believe that the Amesbury pair were deliberately targeted but are still investigating whether there is a link to the Salisbury poisoning.

Mr Rowley has been described as having foraged for goods to fix and sell, and is known to have collected discarded cigarettes.

On a positive note, hospital officials say no unit is better qualified to treat these victims, after all, their teams have been through this before.

The police had a working hypothesis that the two poisoning incidents were connected.

"The eyes of the world are now on Russia", Home Secretary Sajid Javid told lawmakers on July 5, while urging Russia to explain "exactly what has gone on" in Salisbury, as reported by RFE/RL.

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