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UK Couple In Critical Condition Near Ex-Russian Spy Poisoning Attack

REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

The United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism police are investigating an unknown substance that left an Amesbury couple in critical condition.

The two were found unconscious in an Amesbury house on Saturday night and are currently being treated in the Salisbury District Hospital, according to Sky News on Wednesday. Police initially believed the couple used contaminated heroin or crack, but the samples are being further investigated in a Porton Down chemical weapons laboratory.

The couple was last seen publicly at the Amesbury Baptist Church’s family event on Saturday afternoon.

The poisoning of the Amesbury couple comes after former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a poison called Novichok in a suspected assassination attempt on March 4, eight miles away from the Amesbury case. (RELATED: Ex-Russian Spy Poisoned With Nerve Agent That Circulated Through His Car Vents)

It is believed that the deadly nerve gas was circulated through the vents of Sergei’s car. Both Sergei and his daughter were in comas for weeks after they were found passed out on a bench in central Salisbury.

Yulia described the treatment process as “invasive, painful and depressing,” in a separate Sky News report.

Britain accused the Russian government of being responsible for the Novichok attack, in part because the nerve agent was first invented by the Soviet military. Russia has denied involvement in the Amesbury event.

Both cases have resulted in increased police presence in the area, although there are no reported relations between the two events. As a result, a local pharmacy was shut down for further investigations, although customers can still receive their prescription medications at another store within the area.

A Public Health England spokesman told Sky News the incident occurs so rarely that “it is not believed that there is a significant health risk to the wider public.”

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