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2 Fall Mysteriously Ill Near UK Poisoning Site

Police cite an 'unknown substance' in Amesbury
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2018 6:18 AM CDT
Police officers guard a cordon outside the Amesbury Baptist Centre church in Amesbury, England, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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(Newser) – The UK hospital that treated poisoned former Russia spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter is currently treating two others exposed to an "unknown substance." A man and woman in their 40s were found unconscious in a home in the town of Amesbury on Saturday and are now in critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital, reports the Guardian. Wiltshire Police initially suspected the pair "fell ill after using possibly heroin or crack cocaine from a contaminated batch of drugs." However, they're now being treated "for suspected exposure to an unknown substance," per the BBC. Testing is ongoing while various places the pair visited in Amesbury and Salisbury, which sits about 10 miles away, have been sealed off with police tape.

Among them is the Amesbury Baptist Church. While the pair are not regulars at the church, they did attend a family fun day there on Saturday afternoon, per Sky News. "We are all quite puzzled and shocked—naturally the connection with Salisbury and recent events there mean there is a heightened public interest," the church secretary tells the BBC. But he says "there was nothing going on that was nefarious" and "nobody else has suffered any ill-effects." Wiltshire's police and crime commissioner adds there's no evidence to suggest the case is "in any way connected to [the] Skripal case at this moment in time." According to Public Health England, there doesn’t appear to be "a significant health risk." (Read more United Kingdom stories.)

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