Couple exposed to ‘unknown substance’ in just miles from Skripal poisoning

A major incident has been declared after a couple are feared to have been exposed to an ‘unknown substance’ in Wiltshire – just miles from where the Skripals were poisoned.

The man and woman, both in their 40s, were found unconscious at a house in Amesbury, on Saturday evening.

Both remain in a critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital, Wiltshire Police said.

The force said it was not clear if a crime had been committed, although a number of scenes in the Amesbury and Salisbury area have been cordoned off as a precaution.

It was initially believed the pair may have fallen ill after taking heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch after they were found unconscious at an address in Muggleton Road on June 30.

"However, further testing is now ongoing to establish the substance which led to these patients becoming ill and we are keeping an open mind as to the circumstances surrounding this incident," police said.

Salisbury District Hospital is open as usual and is advising people to still attend routine appointments unless they are contacted to state otherwise.

Wiltshire Police and partners will update the public as soon and as regularly as possible.

A Public Health England (PHE) spokesman said: "The current advice from PHE England, based upon the number of casualties affected, is that it is not believed that there is a significant health risk to the wider public. This will be continually assessed as further information becomes known".

If anyone has any information concerning the circumstances surrounding this incident, they should call Wiltshire Police on 999 immediately.

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