Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Major incident declared in Salisbury because of 'dangerous substance'

Major incident declared in Salisbury because of 'dangerous substance'

He was convicted in Russian Federation in 2006 of passing state secrets to Britain, before later being given refuge in the United Kingdom as part of a spy swap.

In a statement on Monday, the Wiltshire police, which covers the Salisbury area, said that the man and the woman, who are believed to know each other, were found around 4:15 p.m. Sunday and taken to Salisbury District Hospital. The two are still in critical condition and the hospital and a number of locations in Salsbury were cordoned off in relation to the incident.

The trust running Salisbury District Hospital advised people not to attend the emergency department "unless extremely urgent".

Col Skripal, now believed to be 66, was later flown to Britain.

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British police did not release the names of those who were being treated, but two sources close to the investigation told Reuters that the critically ill man was Skripal.

The substance has not been identified.

"We're conducting extensive enquiries to determine exactly what led to these people falling unconscious and clarify whether or not any criminal activity has happened", Wiltshire police said. "However, I must emphasise that we retain an open mind and we will continue to review this position".

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the killing.

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His purported involvement in Sunday's incident has echoes of Alexander Litvinenko, an ex-Russian spy who died in 2006 after being poisoned with radioactivity in London.

He was one of four convicts given a pardon, and one of two sent to Britain after a spy swap in July 2010 - described as the largest since the Cold War.

"Because we are still at the very early stages of the investigation, we are unable to ascertain whether or not a crime has taken place". One of the victims is a former Russian spy, Britain's national broadcaster said.

Putin, himself a former KGB officer, sang patriotic songs with the returned spies.

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"He was doing some odd hand movements, looking up to the sky", she said, adding that "they looked so out of it I thought even if I did step in, I wasn't sure how I could help".

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