South Lodge, Knightsbridge has been locked down after police received a call around 8:25 p.m. Sunday that a man and a woman had been found unconscious. The area around the home in west London where the couple was found has been cordoned off by police. The couple was treated and told police they feared they had felt ill from a restaurant and that poison might have been involved.
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Forensics teams arrived at the scene in white hazard suits sparked fears of a novichok style poisoning but police say the couple's condition is not believed to be life-threatening and may be due to a drug overdose.
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A police spokesman, "At 2025hrs on Sunday, we were called by London Ambulance Service to a man and woman found unconscious at a residential address in South Lodge, Knightsbridge. They were taken to the hospital." Emergency responders closed off the streets around the home and drivers have been told to avoid the area to prevent traffic for emergency teams.
The spokesman continued, "Their conditions are not believed to be serious. They are believed to be suffering the effects of a drugs overdose." The area that the incident occurred is near Hyde Park Barracks. The A315 Knightsbridge was closed but re-opened by 10:40 p.m.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">WTF is happening in Knightsbridge? Came out of synagogue to this- all the road cordoned off and loads of emergency services there. <a href="https://t.co/IzB2rvMCAZ">pic.twitter.com/IzB2rvMCAZ</a></p>— Charlotte 🌹 (@charlotte2153) <a href="https://twitter.com/charlotte2153/status/1043954853108740098?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 23, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The victims were identified as Anna Shapiro and her husband Alex King. They were taken to the hospital and there are reports that they became sick at the Prezzo Italian restaurant Sunday. It is unclear if the restaurant is connected to the cause of their illness or which drugs the report of an overdose could have been referring to.
The restaurant itself has also been sealed off and the scene is similar to the recent nerve agent poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Shapiro told a newspaper she feared she and her father have also been poisoned. The pair were tested at the hospital but were the results were negative for novichok and they were released from the hospital.
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A claim that the incident was a hoax was later denied by Shapiro and she was adamant her fears were genuine. Shapiro is a Russian national but her husband's nationality is not clear. The country has been on high alert since the previous incident with Sergei Skripal where the deadly nerve agent novichok was used in an apparent assassination attempt.
The poison was also found to be the cause of another incident in England when a man fell ill after touching a perfume bottle and tested positive for novichok poisoning. His brother reported that he is on the mend but the small exposure was nearly enough to claim his life. Investigators have not revealed why the perfume bottle had the poison in it or if it was connected to the assassination attempt on the Skirpals.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Transport for London</span>
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