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Thomas Cook apologise after holidaymakers claim abandonment

The damage done by Hurricane Irma in Cuba Credit: PA

Thomas Cook have apologised after claims that people from our region who travelled to storm-stricken Cuba were abandoned by them.

Holidaymakers have landed back in the region from the Caribbean island this morning.

Gareth Pritchard, from Sheffield, says he feared for his life as he witnessed the storm from his hotel room in the resort of Varadero.

He says the hotel he stayed in was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma, which hit the resort on September 9th.

Steve's hotel was badly damaged

Gareth arrived back this morning in Manchester and says he ha never been as glad to be back home:

In a statement, Thomas Cook said: “The safety of our customers is always our first priority.

"All our efforts at the moment are focused on bringing our customers home safely from Cuba and Orlando as soon as possible and we’re really sorry that that this evacuation has not proceeded as smoothly as we would have hoped.

We experienced technical issues with some of the aircraft which has complicated an already challenging process. We have 66 members of our special assistance team alongside our reps on the ground in Cuba and Orlando offering support and assistance to our customers during what remains a difficult situation.

– Thomas Cook spokesperson