Hundreds of witnesses in Salisbury spy attack probe - Amber Rudd

Police investigating the suspected nerve agent attack in Salisbury have identified more than 240 witnesses and 200 pieces of evidence, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

It came as Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who fell seriously ill after tending to poisoned spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia in Salisbury, released a statement from hospital saying "he does not consider himself a hero" and was "merely doing his job".

Soldiers remain in place at the South Western Ambulance Service station after a vehicle was winched on to the back of an Army low-loader and taken away.

Cordons remain in place at a host of locations across the city, including at the cemetery where Mr Skripal's wife and son are buried, his house and at Zizzi's restaurant.

Speaking following a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee, Ms Rudd said there were more than 250 officers from eight out of 11 of the country's counter-terrorism units involved in the investigation.

She said: "I want to stress that they are proceeding with speed and professionalism. We are putting in enormous resources to ensure that they have all the support that they need to do that."

Salisbury incident
Investigations took place at the South Western Ambulance Service station in Harnham (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ms Rudd said it was still too early to say who was responsible for the attack.

She said: "This investigation is focused on making sure that we keep people safe and also that we collect all the evidence so that when it comes to attribution (of the attack) we will be absolutely clear where it should be," she said.

"The police have said that if anybody thinks they have any additional information they would welcome them coming forward.

"There is also substantial amounts of CCTV they have to go through. This is a painstaking, detailed investigation and the police need to be given the space and time to get on with it."

Salisbury incident
Investigators in gas masks examine an ambulance (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia are still fighting for their lives after being exposed to a toxic substance in the Wiltshire city last Sunday.

Mr Bailey, who was part of the initial response by authorities, also remains in hospital, although he released a statement thanking people for their support.

The statement read: "Nick would like us to say on his behalf that he and his family are hugely grateful for all the messages of support from the public, and colleagues from the police family. People have been so kind and he has expressed that he will never forget that kindness.

"He also wishes to say that he was part of a group of officers and other emergency service colleagues who dealt with the initial incident.

Salisbury incident
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey remains seriously ill (Wiltshire Police/PA)

"He wants to say that he does not consider himself a 'hero', he states he was merely doing his job - a job he loves and is immensely proud of - just like all of his other dedicated colleagues do, day in day out, in order to protect the public and keep people safe.

"He would like to thank everyone once again for all of their kind thoughts and best wishes, they are truly appreciated.

"He asks respectfully that the media allow his family privacy at this difficult time."

Police said 21 people had been seen for medical treatment since the incident.

The figure includes members of the public and emergency staff, some of whom have had blood tests as well as receiving support and advice.

The attack is being treated as attempted murder.

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