The British couple who mysteriously fell ill over the weekend tested positive for Novichok — the same poison that almost killed a Russian spy and his daughter who lived just a few miles away, police said Sunday.
Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, of Amesbury, were named by friends as the duo who fell ill after being exposed to the same nerve agent that almost ended the lives of Seregi and Yulia Skripal on March 4.
British police, who confirmed the link Sunday evening at a press conference, declared the situation a “major incident.”
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said a crime lab found the eerie link.
“We have received test results from Porton Down that show the two people have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok,” he said, according to the local Salisbury Journal. He called Novichok the same substance “that contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal.”
Rowley and Sturgess were found Saturday unconscious at a home about eight miles from where the Skripals were poisoned.
Authorities initially believed the pair had taken a bad batch of heroin or crack cocaine.
A friend of the couple – now recovering in hospital – said Rowley was “garbling” and acting like a “zombie” before he passed out, according to The Mirror.
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