31 Aug 2015

Migrant crisis: overcrowding stops Austria-bound train

Austrian Railways stop a train carrying hundreds of migrants on the Hungarian-Austrian border because of overcrowding.

Hundreds of migrants boarded a train in Budapest this morning, bound for Vienna, Munich and Berlin.

The train was stopped at the Hungarian-Austrian border at Hegyeshalom to wait for “authorities’ action”.The Austrian Federal Railways decided to halt the journey at the border because of overcrowding.

A second train was also stopped at Hegyeshalom and Austrian police warn that more trains could be prevented from making the onward journey to the Austrian capital.

A Vienna police spokesman said that migrants can stay in Austria for two weeks while they decide whether to seek asylum there. Those who do not will be returned to their last transit country.

Authorities checked hundreds of refugees on the trains to see if they have a valid ticket and if they have applied for asylum in Hungary. Austrian Railways said it does not discriminate on account of passengers’ origin and they only need valid tickets.

Reuters reports that four trains carrying refugees on board have now left the Hungarian-Austrian border and are headed to Vienna.

Hungary has become a frontline country for migrants arriving via the western Balkans route as they flee war and unrest in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.