Shock as Russian nerve agent strikes again
PART of the English town of Salisbury - the scene of the Novichok nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy - has been sealed off after two people fell ill.
Wiltshire Police closed down Prezzo's restaurant in central Salisbury on Sunday night London time after a man and a woman fell ill.
"Police were called by the ambulance service to Prezzo, High Street, Salisbury at 6.45pm (3.45am AEST Monday) today following a medical incident involving two people,'' Wiltshire Police said in a statement released on Twitter.
"As a precautionary measure, the restaurant and surrounding roads have been cordoned off while officers attend the scene and establish the circumstances surrounding what has led them to fall ill."
Police, ambulance personnel and firefighters were at the scene, some wearing hazmat suits.
Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were critically injured in Salisbury in early March when the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok was sprayed on the door of Mr Skripal's home.
He was living quietly in the town after being granted asylum by the UK in a spy swap, following his arrest in Moscow for selling Russian secrets to the west.
He and his daughter were found unconscious on a park bench in central Salisbury after eating at the nearby Zizzis restaurant. A policeman who went to Mr Skrirals home was also struck down by the nerve agent, but survived.
The Skripals spent weeks in hospital but ultimately survived and are now living in a secret location.
In June, local residents Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were also critically injured after finding a discarded perfume bottle in Salisbury. Ms Sturgess sprayed the substance inside the bottle on her wrists. While Mr Rowley eventually recovered, Ms Sturgess died.
The case has been in the headline since last week when Scotland Yard revealed CCTV of two men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, they accused of being the would-be assassins who travelled from Moscow to carry out the attack on Mr Skripal. Police said they carried the nerve agent from Moscow in a perfume bottle.
The men later appeared on Russian state TV and denied involvement, in a bizarre statement in which they claimed they were sports nutrition salesmen on holidays.