Emergency services personnel stage outside Prezzo restaurant, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Salisbury, United Kingdom, where police have closed streets as a "precautionary measure" after two people were taken ill from the restaurant, amid heightened tensions after the Novichok poisonings earlier in the year. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)

Roads shut after 2 fall ill in UK city where ex-spy poisoned

September 16, 2018 - 5:25 pm

LONDON (AP) — British police closed roads and called a hazardous response team Sunday night after two people became ill at a restaurant in the English city where a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a chemical nerve agent.

Wiltshire Police described the emergency steps taken in response to "a medical incident" in Salisbury as precautions. The city spent months with quarantine tents and investigators in full-body protective gear combing for evidence after Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter were found unconscious on a bench in March.

Its residents were put back on edge in June when a man and a woman living in a nearby town was hospitalized with signs of exposure to the same Soviet-made nerve agent, Novichok. The woman, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died.

Britain's counter-terrorism police said this month they think Sturgess' boyfriend found a counterfeit perfume bottle containing remnants of the substance originally applied on the front door of Skripals home in Salisbury.

The conditions of a man and woman who got sick at Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury was under investigation.

"As a precautionary measure, the restaurant and surrounding roads have been cordoned off while officers attend the scene and establish the circumstances surrounding what has led them to fall ill," Wiltshire police said in a statement.

British prosecutors have charged two Russian men in absentia with poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. They have alleged Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were Russian intelligence agents, which they and Moscow have denied.