Asylum seekers cause turbulence at Austrian train station

Vienna, Sep 16 (IANS) 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.

About 600 asylum seekers had stayed in the station on Tuesday before departing by train until about 200-300 were left later on Wednesday, though their number increased quickly to 700 again, reported Xinhua news agency.

A continued stream of arrivals came via cars, buses and taxis, largely from the east of Austria.

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 halt 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.

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

By Tuesday 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.

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