Salisbury poisoning devastates recovering town

A diplomatic row has re-ignited between the UK and Russia following the latest Novichok nerve agent poisoning in southern England.

Two British citizens Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley remain in a critical condition in hospital after coming into contact with residue of the same type of toxin used to try and kill Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March. 

The latest poisoning is a kick in the guts for Salisbury, a town that had only just started to get back on its feet.

Daniel Styles has been running a stall at the Salisbury markets for 5 years.

He was forced to move in March, after Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a park bench right next to his stall.

"We couldn't trade here. We trade around the corner unsuccessfully. We didn't make no money. So we struggled, I struggled personally," Mr Styles told Newshub 

He was allowed back to his spot only 5 weeks ago.

"Things were going really well, now we get this happen to us. Again." 

The latest poisoning is having a noticeable impact on business. 

"It's normally a lot busier than this and a lot more better vibe. It's a very quiet, subdued mood going on today," Mr Styles said.  

That mood a result of locals Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley being at the wrong place at the wrong time last week - police say it's likely they picked up discarded paraphernalia used in the attack on the Skripal's four months ago. 

The site where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious, has been decontaminated. The grass has been ripped up and replaced, the cobble stones have been replaced too, part of a multi-million-pound decontamination of this whole area.

But just a four minute walk away are the Queen Elizabeth Gardens - these are outside of the decontamination zone, and it's where Sturgess and Rowley the victims - came the day before they fell ill. 

They're now critically ill in Salisbury Hospital.  

Tents and equipment have now been put up around Rowley's flat.  Friends say they've been told everything inside the home will be removed and destroyed.

CCTV footage shows Dawn buying wine for a picnic she had at the Gardens last Friday.

They're now cordoned off - but it was never forensically scrubbed after the March poisoning like other sites were, meaning remnants or residue was never cleaned up. It's just one of many sites being investigated. 

Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "Detectives are working as quickly and as diligently as possible to identify the source of the contamination" 

And while locals are resilient.

Sajid Javid, UK Home Secretary said of the poisoning: "It is completely unacceptable for our people to either be deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison." 

The Kremlin's fought back saying Russia has nothing to do with it and is 'quote' deeply concerned.  

It's even again suggesting  a joint UK-Russia investigation into the poisonings.



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