British police confirm source of Novichok poisoning

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Matthew Rowley

Counter terrorism detectives investigating the contamination of two people by Novichok believe they have found the source of the deadly substance.

Sturgess died on Sunday, while Rowley has regained consciousness and is no longer in a critical condition.

A bottle found at Charlie Rowley's Amesbury house was tested by scientists at Porton Down, the Met Police said.

"Inquiries are under way to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Charlie's house".

More tests were being carried out to try to establish whether it was from the same batch that contaminated former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and inquiries were under way to establish where the bottle came from, the statement added. An investigation will be launched to determine whether the bottle found Friday was also used in the poisoning of the spy, Sergei Skripal.

Police warn they can't be certain there are no more contaminated sites. He is now being treated at Salisbury District Hospital.

British authorities took the father and daughter to a secret, protected location.

Neil Basu, head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism police, which are heading up the probe, said the discovery was "a significant and positive development".


Basu said cordons would remain in place in some locations to protect the public despite the apparent breakthrough in the case.

He declined to provide further details about the bottle.

"This is clearly a significant and positive development".

"However, we can not guarantee that there isn't more of the substance left and cordons will remain in place for some considerable time", he said. "This is to allow thorough searches to continue as a precautionary measure for public safety and to assist the investigation team", he said.

Peter Wilson, the country's permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), asked for the group's assistance, according to a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The organization has the power to assign blame for chemical weapons use.

The discovery marked the end of a almost two-week search for the agent.

The Novichok saga began in March when the Skripals mysteriously fell ill on a park bench in Salisbury.

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