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British Woman Dies After Exposure To Novichok Nerve Agent: Authorities

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A British woman exposed to a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union last weekend in Amesbury, England died Sunday, according to the Metropolitan Police.

The woman, identified as Dawn Sturgess, fell seriously ill last Saturday after exposure to Novichok, the same dangerous chemical substance that put former Russian spy turned double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey in the hospital in March.

Another man, Charles Rowley, was also exposed to the nerve agent last Saturday. He remains in critical condition, CNN reports. The initial attack in March is believed to be the first offensive use of this particular chemical weapon since the Second World War, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Two British Citizens Critically Ill After Exposure To Same Soviet-Era Nerve Agent That Struck Down A Former Spy And His Daughter)

Although at least five people have been exposed to Novichok in recent months, the passing of Sturgess marks the first related death.

“This is shocking and tragic news. Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely difficult time,” Neil Basu, a senior counter-terrorism officer, said in response. Prime Minister Theresa May said she was appalled by this turn of events.

The U.K. initially pinned the March poisoning on Russia, and all eyes are once again on Moscow. The Kremlin has denied any involvement with the tragic incidents in Britain. (RELATED: Kremlin Shocked That Citizens In The UK Are Being Struck Down By A Soviet Nerve Agent)

A murder investigation is underway following Strugess’ death.

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