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England Swelters in Record 40.3C Heat
By Staff, Agencies
Britain smashed its all-time temperature record on Tuesday as intense heat fueled dozens of serious fires and brought chaos to transport and schools across England and Wales.
The mercury hit 40.3C in Coningsby, Lincolnshire – one of 34 locations across England in which the previous 2019 record was broken.
Fire services declared major incidents in London, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire after exceptional heat left much of the country tinder-dry, piling pressure on already-stretched services.
Flames destroyed several homes in the village of Wennington, east London, and other residents were evacuated while a trackside blaze near Harrow forced the suspension of all trains on the west coast main line out of London Euston.
Boris Johnson tweeted thanks to “all the firefighters and frontline services” working to keep the public safe while his cabinet colleague Kit Malthouse said emergency services were “generally coping well”.
Ed Miliband, shadow secretary of state of climate change and net zero, said reports of fires across the country were “deeply distressing”. He said it was a “frightening truth” that Tuesday’s high temperatures could soon be seen as the new normal in Britain.
“Britain is in no way prepared for this new reality because of years of neglect by this government,” he added.
“It’s the hottest day ever in the UK, London is literally on fire, we’re in a national heat emergency – and yet when we need a giant fire hose, the government is turning up at the scene with a watering can,” said Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.
There are fears that post-heatwave thunderstorms could bring flash floods and power cuts.
Fire crews battled at least 22 wildfires in England and Wales between 11am and 5.30pm, and hundreds of smaller vegetation fires
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