A military team today began dismantling the home of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal – 10 months after he and his daughter Yulia were poisoned there.
Soldiers in gas masks, rubber gloves and full-body camouflage uniforms were seen taking out a window as part of a Novichok decontamination plan by the Department for Environment.
They are preparing to take the roof off the semi and its garage.
A neighbour said: “It’s disconcerting to see soldiers here in protective gear after all this time.
"We keep being told we’ve nothing to worry about, but it doesn’t feel like they’re telling us the full story when they’re walking around in gas masks and rubber gloves. We just want life to go back to normal.”
Mr Skripal, 67, and his daughter Yulia, 34, were both critically ill after being poisoned by Novichok last March.
Detectives believe assassins sprayed the nerve agent on the front door of the family home in Salisbury, Wilts, on orders of the Russian state.
Contractors have been deep-cleaning the house since the pair – now living at a secret location – fell ill.
It is understood all contents will be sealed and removed before new roofs are installed and the house is “fit to live in”. Wiltshire Council has told residents the health risk is low.
Police officer Nick Bailey is still recovering after coming into contact with the toxin while searching the house.
The two Russian suspects, known by aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, remain at large.
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