How do they decontaminate Salisbury and Amesbury sites?

Sergei Skripal Salisbury Spy Maltings Hazmat Fire

Published by Ellie Harries at 2:33pm 11th July 2018 (Updated 6:56am 12th July 2018)

More details on how scenes are investigated following the nerve agent poisoning, have been revealed.

It takes a 'volunteer' 40 minutes to get into a special suit, before even going into a site to check for Novichok.

That's come from Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who told the people of Amesbury the difficult work that specialists are undertaking to check scenes around the county for the nerve agent.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu talking to Amesbury residents

Five site are currently cordoned off in Amesbury and Salisbury after the poisoning of Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.

  • John Baker House, Salisbury
  • Muggleton Road address, Amesbury
  • Baptist Centre, Amesbury
  • Boots Chemist, Amesbury
  • Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Salisbury
Amesbury Baptist Church Cordon July 2018
The Baptist Centre in Amesbury has been cordoned off since Wednesday 4th July 

Dawn sadly passed away on Sunday (8th July) whilst Charlie is still in a serious condition at Salisbury District Hospital

He said that currently, experts can only work in the suits for up to 15 minutes - as it's too hot to carry out the work any longer than that.

"It takes them about 40 minutes to get changed into the suits.

"Before they get changed the temperature inside the forensic tents two days ago was 40 degrees - before they put the suits on.

"When they put the suits on, they walk into a scene where you can’t see or detect the agent that you’re looking for.

"They have about 15 minutes to be in there before they can’t operate, they physically can’t operate any more."

In March, the specialists could spend up to 6 hours in the suits, 5 hours and 45 minutes more than they can now, in the 9 sites that were initially cordoned off after the nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

Sergei Skripal Collage with hazmat, bench and his home (Ellie Harries)
Sergei (top left), was hospitalised on March 4th. His house along with 8 other sites were cordoned off.

Neil Basu explains the process behind investigating a site. 

Scotland Yard have now launched a murder enquiry to find out how the pair were poisoned and who could have done it.

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