The Salisbury, England, home of former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal is being dismantled by a British military team — to remove any risk of further Novichok poisoning within the community. The Salisbury neighbors of Sergei and Yulia Skripal have received a letter explaining the next step of the deep clean process.
The Guardian reports that the prevailing theory is that the door of the Skripal home was sprayed with the toxic nerve agent, focused on the handle. The Wiltshire Council has sent a letter to their neighbors warning them of the disruption — which is expected to take four months, starting this week.
The property clean-up started after the Skripals were found on a local park bench, unconscious, on March 5.
The Wiltshire Council’s director of public of health, Tracy Daszkiewicz, explained that the first month of the project will be dedicated to covering the home with scaffolding, and sealing the house and the garage. The next step will be dedicated to fully removing the roof.
“A military team will then dismantle and remove the roofs on the two buildings over two weeks. Everything will be wrapped and sealed before being removed from the site, and then the roofs will be replaced.”
The roof and and adjoining garage are to be completely removed. https://t.co/9ZWfFQVZL3
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) January 8, 2019
She continues by explaining that all of the materials removed will first be safely sealed. Anything remaining will be scrubbed. Prime Minister Theresa May says that this poisoning was “almost certainly” approved by the Russian state.
Several people have come in contact with the Novichok, with the poison having been traced back to a bottle of counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume. Said perfume was initially sprayed in the Skripal home, according to reports from the Daily Beast. The first investigator on the scene was hospitalized — but recovered. One of the women who later came in contact with the perfume bottle was not so lucky, and died soon after.
Tracy Daszkiewicz says that she believes that at this point, the risk is low — but they are trying to eliminate any health risk whatsoever.
“The priority is to make sure that the two remaining sites affected by the 2018 incidents are thoroughly cleaned and returned to normal use as soon as possible.”
In response to accusations by the British government that the Novichok poisoning was state-sanctioned, Russian Senator Aleksey Pushkov swung back — insulting both Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth II. Pushkov suggested that both women are “unpleasant” heavy drinkers in a controversial interview, per the Daily Mail.