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Thomas Cook staff were seen hugging each other in tears at its headquarters in Cambridgeshire after the holiday company collapsed.

Hundreds of employees have been seen heading into the offices at Lynch Wood in Peterborough for a 10am meeting about the compulsory liquidation, which happened this morning after a weekend of talks to save the company. Many looked tearful as they arrived at the headquarters, which employs around 1,000 people.

Thomas Cook was founded in 1841 and was one of the world’s oldest travel companies. It employed around 9,000 people in the UK and had around 600 high street stores. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced this morning that the company had “ceased trading with immediate effect.”

More than 150,000 British holidaymakers who are abroad will have to be repatriated back to the UK and the CAA and the government has announced it will aim to get them home by October 6. A number of support schemes have also been set up to help Thomas Cook employees.

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