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Asylum seekers cause turbulence at Austrian train station

Turbulent scenes have emerged at the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof train station in Austria following a surge in asylum seekers wishing to travel across the nearby German border on Tuesday.

About 600 asylum seekers had stayed in the station overnight before departing by train until about 200-300 were left later in the morning, though their number increased quickly to 700 again by afternoon.

The Austria Press Agency reported that a continued stream of arrivals came via cars, buses and taxis, largely from the east of Austria, over the course of the afternoon.

Some of the newly-arrived asylum seekers reportedly made a reckless surge for available trains, with some even running on the train tracks, causing a temporary stop to train traffic.

"The situation is critical, we have to appeal to all not to bring asylum seekers to Salzburg," said spokesperson for the city Johannes Greifender.

Authorities said many were transported to the city by private persons or groups acting on their own initiative.

Greifender said authorities have been carefully dealing with the situation, but should it worsen, shutting down the station would be the last resort.

By evening, a train took away 700 asylum seekers with it, leaving about 300 at the station's emergency shelter.

With more reportedly arriving, authorities estimated about 1,000 asylum seekers would stay at the station overnight.

The main goal for now is to ensure that interior passages in the station remain open, including access to platforms and that trains are boarded in an orderly and safe manner, they said.

[Source: Xinhua, Vienna, 15Sep15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 17Sep15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.