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British heat record smashed

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Children cool down in a fountain near Buckingham Palace in London.

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Britain experienced its hottest day on record on Sunday as temperatures broke through the 100 degree Fahrenheit mark for the first time.

A record 38.1 Celcius (100.58F) was recorded at Gravesend in southern England, while a reading of 37.9C (100.22F) set a record at London's Heathrow Airport.

The record highs exceeded the previous mark of 37.1C (98.8F), set in Cheltenham, central England, in August 1990.

Britain has recorded weather statistics since the mid-1870s -- longer than anywhere else in the world.

Millions of Britons have been flocking to beaches, lakes and parks in recent days as the country has been blanketed under the heat wave currently affecting much of Europe.

Meanwhile, a woman was being treated in hospital after suffering a heart attack as lightning struck the crowd at a football match in Birmingham, central England.

A total of 14 other people were hurt in the strike, which happened during violent storms. They were treated for eye injuries, burns and shock by paramedics and hospital staff.

Six people were also injured during a lightning strike at an agricultural show in Warwickshire, central England.

And two young girls suffered minor injures after lightning struck a scout camp in Lancashire in north-eastern England.

And in Birmingham, more than 60 firefighters were tackling a large fire at factory units struck by lightning.

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