Union leaders have joined the chorus of criticism directed towards the government after the official receiver for the SSI steel works plant in Redcar announced the closure of the blast furnace and coke ovens.
Steel union Community's general secretary Roy Rickhuss said it was "devastating news".
The government must now step in, take the plant into temporary public ownership, and protect and preserve these vital industrial assets.
Keeping the coke ovens running and mothballing the blast furnace effectively would give Teesside steel the chance of a future.
A hard closure will just leave a community devastated and taxpayers picking up the cost of cleaning the site.
And Unite national officer Harish Patel warned of the potential impact on the local economy.
The hope of a buyer stepping in has been cruelly extinguished by the liquidator's haste and the government's refusal to step in and buy more coal to keep the coke ovens alight.
It is devastating news for all those whose livelihoods depend on steel making on Teesside and the hopes of a community who thought that an alternative solution could be found.
The light on steelmaking on Teesside has been snuffed out by the government's laissez faire approach which sets a dangerous precedent for an industry battling to stay afloat in the face of cheap Chinese imports and high energy costs.
We would urge the Government to change its stance, to intervene and support Redcar and the UK steel industry, so that British industry can take advantage of major projects, such as HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse.
Hundreds of families in the North East are struggling to come to terms with the impending closure of the SSI steelworks plant in Redcar.
The government has decided to allow the steel plant at Redcar to fail. A tough decision to make and obviously an unpopular one.
China's economy is slowing, and the aftershocks are being felt as far afield as Redcar.