Russian spy attack nerve agent found at UK city spots
London (AFP) - Traces of a nerve agent used in the suspected attempted murder of a Russian former double agent have been found in a pub and a restaurant he visited, England's chief medical officer said Sunday.
Sally Davies said up to 500 people who had visited The Mill pub and the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury, southwest England, should wash their clothes and belongings as a precaution.
Detectives are treating the March 4 attack on Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia as attempted murder.
The pair were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury. They remain in a critical but stable condition in hospital.
"There has been some trace contamination by the nerve agent in both The Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury," Davies said.
"I am confident this has not harmed the health of anyone who was in The Mill pub or Zizzi's."
People who were in the pub or restaurant last Sunday or Monday "should clean the clothes they wore and the possessions they handled while there," she said.
Pub and restaurant-goers were told to wash their clothing in the washing machine, while dry clean-only clothes should be put inside two tied plastic bags and safely stored while awaiting further advice.
Davies also gave detailed instructions for cleaning items such as mobile phones, handbags, jewellery and eyeglasses.
- Precautionary measures -
The risk to public health remained low and the advice was precautionary, Public Health England said.
"It is possible, but unlikely, that any of the substance which has come into contact with clothing or belongings could still be present in minute amounts," PHE said in a statement.
"Over time, repeated skin contact with contaminated items may pose a small risk to health."
Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Britain's interior minister, said Saturday that police were examining more than 200 pieces of evidence, had identified more than 240 witnesses, and were ploughing through security camera footage.
Around 180 troops, including chemical warfare experts, have been deployed in Salisbury after investigators requested expert assistance.Read More...