Skripals poisoned with Fentanyl, initial report redacted

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Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia (Facebook/Julia Skripal)

Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia were poisoned with the drug Fentanyl, not the Novichok nerve agent, the initial report on the incident reveals. After I published this report on my Twitter account the information was immediately redacted and the drug Fentanyl was deleted from the original version.

Alex Thomson, chief correspondent and presenter of Channel 4 News tweeted about a D notice issued by the UK government to prevent media from publishing further sensitive information on 12 March:

On 26 April I published on my social media accounts the initial report (dated 5 March) on the incident in Salisbury. It indicated the drug Fentanyl as the source of the poisoning which had taken place on 4 March.

According to the report published by Clinical Services Journal: Salisbury District Hospital declared a “major incident” on Monday 5 March, after two patients were exposed to an opioid […] It followed an incident hours earlier in which a man and a woman were exposed to the drug Fentanyl in the city centre. The opioid is 10,000 times stronger than heroin.

Few hours later (27 April) after the article was publicized on social media, the content was surprisingly changed.

The second line of the redacted article now reads: “It followed an incident hours earlier in which a man and a woman were exposed to a substance in the city centre.”

The drug Fentanyl is deleted in the redacted version of the report (Source: Clinical Services Journal)

Here is the retrieved version of the report (as it appeared on 26 April) before the opioid Fentanyl was deleted and changed with “a substance”. Clinical Services Journal has not responded yet to the request for a comment on the reason for such a redaction more than a month after the incident took place and after the initial report was published on social media.

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