UK police say they've spoken to surviving nerve-agent victim

Lorna Wilkinson, the hospital's director of nursing, said: "While this is welcome news, clearly we are not out of the woods yet".

The 45-year-old "is still very unwell", and in critical but stable condition, according to the statement.

Police are investigating a possible link to the case of Russians Sergei and Yulia Skripal - who were poisoned with the same substance in nearby Salisbury.

Britain and its allies blamed Russia for the attack on the Skripals, prompting a major Western expulsion of Russian diplomats.

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said people in the Amesbury and Salisbury area should not "pick up any foreign object which could contain liquid or gel, in the interests of their own safety".

Tributes have been paid to mother-of-three Ms Sturgess, with her family saying: 'Dawn's death has been devastating for us.

Sturgess died at Salisbury District Hospital, the same facility that nursed the critically ill Skripals.

Mr Basu also said that the "brutal reality" is that he can not say with certainty that there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in Wiltshire.

The Skripals, who have both been discharged from hospital after spending weeks in hospital, fell ill after the poison was applied to the ex-spy's front door in the city of Salisbury.

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Those locations are Muggleton Road, Boots pharmacy, and the Baptist church in Amesbury, and John Baker House and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.

Wiltshire Police tweeted on Monday (Tuesday NZ Time) that the auto was being "safely" removed and reminded the public that the risk of contamination with the agent was low.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was appalled and shocked by Sturgess's death and the interior minister, Sajid Javid, said the "desperately sad news only strengthens our resolve to find out exactly what has happened".

"At least I've seen him now. he's not out of trouble yet but hopefully he's going to get better but they can't say yet".

A red Ford Transit van which Mr Rowley had been a passenger in and a bus taken by the pair the night before they became ill have also been taken away for testing.

It was feared it might have been contaminated and was taken to the Government laboratory at Porton Down, near Salisbury, to be destroyed. "Those involved have the training & expertise to safely remove the vehicle" and the risk to the public remains low".

Basu has previously said that due to the high dose that Sturgess and Rowley received, the hypothesis was they must have handled a contaminated container.

A team wearing protective clothing is combing the small flat, working in 30-minute shifts because of the heat.

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