Couple Poisoned by Novichok Likely Handled ‘Contaminated Item’

The British couple who was poisoned last Saturday by the Russian nerve agent Novichok likely came into contact with the poison through a “contaminated item,” according to a Thursday report from BBC. Since the majority of the Novichok residue was found on the couple’s hands, local police believe that the pair probably picked up a container that was improperly discarded after the March attack on ex-Russian intelligence officer turned alleged UK double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Although the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner said that there was no reason to think the couple had been targeted, BBC notes that “it has been suggested the item ‘could be a vial or syringe because of the couple’s lifestyle.’” London officials have blamed Russia for the couple’s poisoning; Home Secretary Sajid Javid told BBC that “It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns, to be dumping grounds for poison.” Russia has denied responsibility for either attack, and the spokesman for their London embassy told BBC that “Instead of genuine co-operation, London is doing everything possible to muddy the waters, to confuse and frighten its own citizens.” Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, remain in critical condition.