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'Major incident' declared after two collapse in Wiltshire

'Major incident' declared after two collapse in Wiltshire

TRT World 's Sara Morice reports.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said the government's emergency response committee had met to discuss the incident. He said it was "completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets", and warned about towns in the United Kingdom becoming "dumping grounds" for nerve agents.

A senior Government source told the Press Association it is believed there was cross-contamination of the same batch of nerve agent involved in the "reckless" Salisbury attack, as opposed to a secondary attack.

"Given the recent events in Salisbury, officers from the counter terrorism network are working jointly with colleagues from Wiltshire Police regarding the incident in Amesbury", the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The local Wiltshire police force initially suspected the couple had fallen ill after using heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch of drugs.

The British authorities have not accused Russian Federation of involvement in the new incident, saying their working assumption is that the Britons were poisoned by traces of nerve agent left over from the original attack. They did not elaborate.

After the Skripal poisoning, police investigators in protective hazmat suits scoured the ancient English cathedral city of Salisbury and Mr Basu cautioned that police in protective clothing would return to the area.

Skripal - a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign spy service - and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a park bench on March 4.

The police said they suspected the nerve agent may have been smeared on a front door handle in liquid form.

But it wasn't until Wednesday night that lab results confirmed the dreaded news, delivered by Scotland Yard, that "the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok".

Chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon said the latest victims are likely collateral debris from the Skripal attack. Police were then informed of the pair's condition. "We are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances regarding this incident". They were called back later that day when the man, 45, also fell ill. The British Home Secretary has demanded that Russian Federation explain how a nerve agent that only its government reportedly had access to has shown up a second time on British soil.

It has said it did not develop Novichok and that it does not possess such nerve agents. The object that contaminated them has not yet been identified, Basu said.

As a precaution he said more police would be stationed on the streets.

While the United Kingdom and the United States blamed Russian Federation for the attack on the Skripals, authorities have not assigned blame for the latest incident, and it's unclear if the cases are related.

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