train tracks

Pictures: Desperate mother clings to her baby as police try to bring migrants to camps

Chaotic scenes at a train station in Hungary today.

CHAOTIC SCENES AT a train station in Hungary today…

A mother clung to her baby as she lay on a train track in Bicske near one of Hungary’s four main refugee camps today, as a male companion struggled with police officers who had their batons drawn.

A large number of migrants were refusing to get off the train and be taken to a refugee camp.

The migrants had thought the train would take them near the Austrian border, but it stopped at Bicske instead.

Around 200 to 300 migrants were on the train when it left Budapest’s main international station Keleti at 11:20am local time.

They were among more than 1,000 who stormed into the station this morning after police ended a two-day ban on migrants entering.

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Reuters / YouTube

“They were told no international trains would leave. but eventually they were told this train would leave and they believed and hoped it would take them close enough to the Austrian border to get across,” the BBC’s Gavin Hewitt, who’s on board the train, wrote.

The train pulled in at Bicske where hundreds of police were waiting at the platform.

The officers put on riot gear as people began banging on the windows and it became clear there would be resistance to officers’ plans to take them to a centre nearby where they could be properly identified.

Hewitt added:

And then there was one really distressing scene involving a woman who was carrying a baby by the railway tracks shouting “help! help!” There was a struggle involving one of her companions and riot police. This incensed some of the other refugees who had been taken off the train, they began pushing and jostling and there was a little bit of fighting with the riot police. And then they forced their way back on the train, which is where we are at the moment with police on the platform with several hundred refugees on the train in sweltering conditions.

Hungary is a key entry point for tens of thousands of migrants entering the European Union, with some 50,000 entering the country in August alone and 150,000 this year, already three and a half times the total for 2014.

Most enter from non-EU Serbia having trekked up from Greece through the western Balkans, with a recently completed razor-wire barrier failing to stop the flow, and with most wanting to continue to western Europe.

Truck driver in court

Meanwhile, AFP reports that one of the suspected drivers of the truck found abandoned in Austria with the decomposing bodies of 71 migrants inside denied knowing there was anyone on board.

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, 32, was remanded in custody after appearing in a Bulgarian court.

He was arrested in his home in a Roma neighbourhood of Lom in northwest Bulgaria on Monday on an European arrest warrant issued by Austrian prosecutors.

He kept silent when asked by journalists if he was the driver of the truck but answered “No” when asked if he knew that he was carrying people inside.


According to the charge sheet he allegedly drove the truck, found on an Austrian motorway near the Hungarian border last Thursday, “at least some of the distance from Hungary to Austria”.

The court was due to examine an Austrian extradition request on Monday.

The charges include “participation in an organised crime group, contraband trafficking and premeditated manslaughter of 71 people,” Montana regional prosecutor Nina Borisova told the court.

Another five men, four Bulgarians and an Afghan, have so far been detained in Hungary.

Austrian police were due on Friday to release autopsy results of the 71 men, women and children, thought to be Syrians and to have suffocated up to two days before the truck was discovered.

With reporting from AFP. Comments have been turned off for legal reasons.

Read: Four arrested over death of Syrian toddler found on beach: reports

Read: Desperate migrants storm Budapest station after two day stand-off

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