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Buses of refugees arrive in Austria

The Local/AFP · 5 Sep 2015, 07:07

Published: 05 Sep 2015 07:07 GMT+02:00

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The first buses carrying migrants from Hungary to Austria arrived early on Saturday, after Vienna and Berlin agreed to accept thousands of people who have been stranded in Budapest.

One bus left the Keleti train station where thousands of migrants have been waiting to reach Western Europe, an AFP reporter on the scene said, while others picked up members of a crowd of some 1,200 people who set off on foot for the border earlier in the day.

Refugees continue towards Austria from Budapest. image credit @nabihbulos

Austria's ORF broadcaster reports that seven buses have arrived at the border station Hegyeshalom/Nickelsdorf. Between 50 and 60 more buses are expected. The refugees will be directed to Nickelsdorf station or the Nova Rock stadium. Teams from the Hungarian and Austrian Red Cross are providing them with water and supplies.

"I am standing right at the border to Hungary and am looking down. The streams (of people) keep coming," Hans Peter Doskozil, chief of police in Burgenland state, told the Austria Press Agency. "We are waiting for 17 or 18 double-decker buses to be able to take people to Vienna, maybe also towards Germany."

One train carrying around 400 migrants westwards has already left the Austrian town of Nickelsdorf on the border with Hungary and a second one with around the same number is due to leave soon, Doskozil said.

The first 400 trudged from a concert hall that is now a makeshift shelter in Nickelsdorf to the train station at around 4:30-5:30 am (0230-0330 GMT).

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"The second 400 are on their way their now. At times the rain has been really heavy, now it's drizzling a bit. The people are all soaked," Doskozil said.

Austria's Chancellor Werner Faymann told the APA press agency that he had informed Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban of the decision to accept the refugees "in consultation" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said it was motivated by "the current emergency at the Hungarian border".

Hungary said it was laying on buses to ferry desperate refugees late on Friday, who had set off on foot for the Austrian border after being stranded for days in Budapest's main railway station.

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The Local/AFP (news.austria@thelocal.com)

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