About 180 military personnel have been deployed to Salisbury to help in the investigation into the attempted murder of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter.
They will include Royal Marines and military personnel who have specialist training in chemical warfare and decontamination, the BBC understands.
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed on Sunday afternoon after being exposed to a nerve agent.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has described the attack as “outrageous”.
The BBC’s Daniel Sandford said the military personnel were “experts in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare”.
The Metropolitan Police said the counter-terrorism unit has requested the military’s assistance “to remove a number of vehicles and objects from the scene”, including ambulances that may have been contaminated while assisting the victims.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the military had stepped up to “assist with this crucial inquiry”.
The public should not be alarmed and there is no evidence to suggest a wide public health risk at this time, the police added.
Mr Skripal, an ex-Russian military security colonel, and his daughter remain in a critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital.
Specialist investigators wearing protective suits have been seen examining the bench that the pair collapsed on.
Mr Skripal’s house and his car have also been cordoned off.
It is known that Mr Skripal and his daughter had visited the Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon, before they were found near the Maltings shopping centre.
Ms Rudd visited some of the of the sights cordoned off by counter-terrorism police in Salisbury on Friday.
She also visited Salisbury District Hospital where Mr Skripal, his daughter, and one of the police officers who attended the scene on Sunday are being treated.
Det Sgt Nick Bailey – who attended the scene on Sunday – is conscious but “very anxious” about being exposed to a nerve agent.
Director of nursing Lorna Wilkinson said Mr Bailey was in a serious but stable condition.
The graves of Mr Skripal’s wife and son at a Salisbury cemetery have also been taped off.
Mr Skripal, 66, was convicted by the Russian government of passing secrets to MI6, but given refuge in the UK in 2010 as part of a “spy swap”.
Police said 21 people had been seen for medical treatment in the aftermath of the incident, but only three people were being treated.
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Blair said the “extraordinary attack in Salisbury” is a good reason to investigate whether there is a pattern of former British intelligence collaborators dying in the UK.
The attempted murder of Mr Skripal has drawn comparisons to the 2006 assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, who ingested the rare and highly radioactive Polonium 210 in London.
On Tuesday Labour MP Yvette Cooper asked the home secretary to review 14 other deaths that had not been treated as suspicious by UK police, but have reportedly been identified by US intelligence sources as being connected to the Russian state.
Ms Rudd has refused to speculate on whether the Russian state might have been involved in the attack, saying the police investigation should be based on “facts, not rumour”.
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