Chaos as migrants clamor for train in Budapest

Migrants storm into a train at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary, September 3, 2015 as Hungarian police withdrew from the gates after two days of blocking their entry. Photo: CBS News

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Thousands of migrants who have camped in and around a train station in the Hungarian capital crowded onto a train Thursday, believing their dreams of reaching the wealthy nations of northern and western Europe could be about to come true.

CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata says as soon as the doors opened, migrants went flooding in by the hundreds. After days of halted trains, word spread fast.

The migrants, many of them refugees from war-torn Syria, thought they might finally be headed to Germany, Austria… anywhere but Hungary. But nobody was telling them anything.

Amjad Bashir from the battered Syrian city of Latakia wondered why let them in, of not to let them go.

Asked by D’Agata whether he felt like the Hungarian authorities were tricking him and his family, he didn’t hesitate.

“They did, that’s what we’re feeling, that’s why we are kind of hesitating to take the train or not,” he said.

He was hesitating because the migrants fear that instead of going to other countries in Europe they will instead be taken to holding camps where they will be forced to apply for asylum in Hungary.

“They are prisons more than being a camp,” Bashir told D’Agata. “I’m not going there.”

On board the train it was even more chaotic. The heat and humidity of the packed train was unbearable. Families with young children and babies struggled for air as CBS News’ cameraman repeatedly wiped the condensation from his lens to capture the scene.

The people on the train are penniless, hungry and exhaused having spent weeks on the road and more than a week stuck at the station. They are desperate to board any train that wikll take them away.

Hassan from Daraa, Syria, told CBS News it was his “lucky day.”

But then he was quick to add a caution; “maybe it will not my lucky day, but I think it’s my lucky day. God willing. I believe.”

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