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Two hospitalized near Salisbury, exposure to unknown substance suspected

The victims were taken to the Salisbury District Hospital in critical condition

MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. A man and a woman were found unconscious and taken to a Salisbury hospital following exposure to an unknown substance in the town of Amesbury, some 10 km north of Salisbury, local police said on Wednesday.

"Wiltshire Police and partners have this evening declared a major incident after it is suspected that two people might have been exposed to an unknown substance in Amesbury," police said in a statement. "A number of scenes, believed to be the areas the individuals frequented in the period before they fell ill, will be cordoned off overnight in and around the Amesbury and Salisbury area as a precautionary measure."

According to police, a man and a woman, both in their 40s, were found unconscious in a property in Amesbury. They were taken to the Salisbury District Hospital in critical condition.

Former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been earlier sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near a shopping center in Salisbury, UK on March 4. Police said they had been exposed to a nerve agent.

Following the incident, London claimed that the toxin of Novichok-class had been allegedly developed in Russia. With that, the UK rushed to accuse Russia of being involved, while failing to produce any evidence. Moscow refuted the accusations that it had participated in the incident and points out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia have ever done research into that toxic chemical.