Second Novichok poisoning in Britain raises alarm, questions over contamination

British officials are consulting with allies over a possible response to Russia after officials confirmed on Wednesday a second case of poisonings on British soil with a nerve agent in Russia’s Novichok series.

In the new case, a couple—which multiple media outlets have identified as Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44—became ill and lost consciousness on Saturday in Amesbury, a town in Wiltshire, England. Their location was just a few miles away from where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter, Yulia, were poisoned in March with a Novichok agent. On Wednesday, Scotland Yard reported that a chemical analysis identified the same Novichok agent as the cause of the new poisonings.

Britain’s home secretary Sajid Javid on Thursday called on Moscow to explain “exactly what has gone on” and said that the country will be “consulting with our international partners and allies following these latest developments.”

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