Salisbury clean-up after Skripal poisoning could take till Christmas

Lester Mason
April 18, 2018

The nerve agent used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter at his home in southern England last month was delivered in a liquid form, British officials said on Tuesday.

The UK blamed Russia for the poisoning, following which, it expelled 23 Russian diplomatic workers in retaliation. Sergei, 66, is taking longer to recover but is understood to be awake and rapidly improving.

Sites identified for contamination include a pub, ambulance stations, and the home of a police officer believed to have been exposed to novichok.

The indoor sites have been found to have a higher concentration of the nerve agent.

The bench at the Maltings shopping centre, where the pair collapsed, will be cleaned.

Almost 200 military personnel will help with the work, which is expected to take a number of months.

But there are fears that it could still be present in the area, as it does not evaporate and could be at any of the nine sites that was cordoned off after the attack.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, in Salisbury, said authorities are stressing that the risk to the public remains very low.

The poisoning has sparked a Cold War-style diplomatic crisis between Russian Federation and the West, including the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from the two sides.

"Based on the results of the examination, traces of the toxic chemical BZ and its precursors, related to chemical weapons of the second category in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were found in the samples".

The UK has called for a UN Security Council meeting on the OPCW report, which could be held this week.

Yulia Skripal, 33, has been discharged and is continuing her recovery in a safe house.

The worldwide chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, has confirmed that a Novichok agent "of high purity" was used, although it has not identified where it was made. He says the nerve agents were created to escape detection by worldwide inspectors.

In fact, the Russian Federation has never developed or produced any chemical warfare agents.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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