TWO people remain in critical condition in hospital after coming into contact with an “unknown substance”, in the second major incident to take place in the Salisbury area this year.

Emergency services were called to an address in Muggleton Road, Amesbury, on Saturday evening after a man and woman, both in their 40s, were found unconscious in a property.

Both are currently in a critical condition and receiving treatment for suspected exposure to an unknown substance at Salisbury District Hospital.

The pair have been named locally as Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess.

Several locations, including the address in Amesbury, the nearby Baptist Church, a chemist attached to Barcroft Surgery and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, were cordoned off in the early hours of yesterday morning. Raleigh Crescent in Amesbury has also been cordoned off and a bin on the corner of Rollestone Street in Salisbury near John Baker House. 

A heightened police presence was also seen at Salisbury hospital.

Wiltshire Police have not denied that the incident is linked to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal four months ago, with a spokesman adding: “We are keeping an open mind and waiting for the results of further tests.”

It was reported as the Journal went to press that samples had been sent to Porton Down for “urgent testing”.

And counter terror police have been drafted in, with a spokesman adding: “As you would expect, given the recent events in Salisbury, officers from the counter terrorism network are working jointly with colleagues from Wiltshire Police regarding the incident in Amesbury.”

Wiltshire Police initially believed the two patients had been using contaminated heroin or crack cocaine.

A spokesman said: “At this stage it is not yet clear if a crime has been committed. A police investigation has been established. In addition, a full multi-agency response has been co-ordinated.”

Justin Doughty, a Muggleton Road resident said he was “worried”

the lack of information given to residents: “You would have thought they would have done a door-to-door just to let you know what happened, but there’s been no mention whatsoever.”

A police spokesman added: “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.

“The public can expect to see an increased police presence in and around Amesbury and Salisbury.

“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”.

Anyone with information concerning the circumstances surrounding this incident should call Wiltshire Police on 999 immediately.

The following areas have been cordoned off:

  • Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury
  • A property at John Baker House, Rolleston Street, Salisbury
  • A property on Muggleton Road, Amesbury

•        Boots the Chemist, Stonehenge Walk, Amesbury
•        Amesbury Baptist Centre on Butterfield Drive, Amesbury