LONDON—British police said Wednesday they have spoken briefly to the surviving victim of a nerve-agent poisoning in southwest England as they try to uncover how he and his girlfriend were exposed to the deadly toxin.
The Metropolitan Police force said officers had spoken to Charlie Rowley, “and will be looking to further speak with him in the coming days.”
Salisbury District Hospital, where Rowley is being treated, said his condition has improved and he is no longer critical.
Lorna Wilkinson, the hospital’s director of nursing, said “his condition is now serious, but stable.”
Rowley, 45, and 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess collapsed June 30 in the town of Amesbury. Police say they handled a container contaminated with Novichok, the same nerve agent used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia 13 kilometres away in the city of Salisbury in March.
Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu, Britain’s top counterterrorism officer, told residents of Amesbury Tuesday night that Novichok could remain active for 50 years if kept in a sealed container. He said he could not guarantee there are no further traces of the lethal poison in the area.
“I would love to be able to say that we have identified and caught the people responsible and how we are certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire,” he said.