Hungary blasts EU on migration amid chaos at train station

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Hungary Migrant Crisis

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's leader railed Thursday at Germany and EU leaders for lacking urgency in dealing with Europe's migrant crisis as chaos reigned back home, where migrants by the thousands surged into Budapest's main train station after police ended their two-day blockade of its entrance.

In a swirl of confusion, excited migrants piled into a newly arrived train at Keleti in the Hungarian capital despite announcements in Hungarian and English that all services from the station to Western Europe had been canceled. A statement on the main departures board said no more trains to Austria or Germany would depart "due to safety reasons until further notice!"

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Hungary blasts EU on migration amid chaos at train station
ROSZKE, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 14: Hundreds of migrants are packed on a train at Roszke train station destined for the Austrian border after the hungarian authorities closed the open railway track crossing today on September 14, 2015 in Roszke, Hungary. Hungary implements new laws to administer the influx of migrants and become enforceable tonight. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 08: A young Syrian boy cries as his father attempts to convince Hungarian police to allow his entire family to cross a police line for a train bound for Vienna, Austria at the Keleti railway station on September 8, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Migrants in Budapest are concerned that governments will soon close or severely limit continued travel access to Austria and Germany. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Migrants run over a field as their crowd broke out of at collection point near Roszke village at the Hungarian-Serbian border on September 9, 2015. Some 400-500 migrants on Wednesday broke through police lines in Hungary near the main crossing point from Serbia. AFP PHOTO / CSABA SEGESVARI (Photo credit should read CSABA SEGESVARI/AFP/Getty Images)
ROSZKE, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 09: Migrants climb over fences after running from a collection point that had been set up to transport people to camps on September 9, 2015 in Morahalom, Hungary. People became impatient at the lack of imformation, facilities and transport to the camps and decided to storm past police lines making their way in all directions. Thousands of migrants have continued to cross into Hungary over the last few days from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
MORAHALOM, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 08: Men sleep in a field at a collection point as they wait for buses to take them to a refugee camp at dawn on September 8, 2015 in Morahalom, Hungary. Thousands of migrants have continued to cross into Hungary over the last few days from Serbia. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called 'Balkans route' has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary. The number of people leaving their homes in war torn countries such as Syria, marks the largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 04: Hundreds of migrants walk toward Austria border after leaving the transit zone of the Budapest main railway station Keleti, on September 04, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Hundreds of migrants broke out of a Hungarian border camp on Friday and others set off on foot from Budapest as authorities scrambled to contain a migrant crisis that has brought Europe's asylum system to breaking point. (Photo by Mehmet Yilmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 04: Hundreds of migrants walk toward Austria border after leaving the transit zone of the Budapest main railway station Keleti, on September 04, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Hundreds of migrants broke out of a Hungarian border camp on Friday and others set off on foot from Budapest as authorities scrambled to contain a migrant crisis that has brought Europe's asylum system to breaking point. (Photo by Mehmet Yilmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - SEPTEMBER 04: Hundreds of migrants walk toward Austria border after leaving the transit zone of the Budapest main railway station Keleti, on September 04, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Hundreds of migrants broke out of a Hungarian border camp on Friday and others set off on foot from Budapest as authorities scrambled to contain a migrant crisis that has brought Europe's asylum system to breaking point. (Photo by Mehmet Yilmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, Sept. 3, 2015 -- Refugees jostle to get on a train heading to Austria at the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, on Sept. 3, 2015. Hungarian police stopped a train on Thursday on its way to the Hungary-Austria border, and tried to transfer all refugees on board to refugee reception sites. European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday European countries needed to do more in dealing with the migration crisis. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi via Getty Images)
BUDAPEST, Sept. 3, 2015-- Refugees sit on the edge of the platform, waiting to board a train, at the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, on Sept. 3, 2015. Hungarian police stopped a train on Thursday on its way to the Hungary-Austria border, and tried to transfer all refugees on board to refugee reception sites. European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday European countries needed to do more in dealing with the migration crisis. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi via Getty Images)
Migrants sit in front of the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest on September 2, 2015. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrant holds a sign reading 'We are under siege' as he sits with other migrants in front of the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest on September 2, 2015. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Hungarian police officers surround a group of Syrian migrants on the platform of the Kobanya-Kispest station, Budapest suburb, on September 2, 2015, as the refugees refused to board a train to the Debrecen camp. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Many migrants, who couldn't understand either language and were receiving no advice from Hungarian officials, piled aboard in a standing-room-only crush and hoped for the best. Instead, the train soon stopped northwest of Budapest in the town of Bicske, where dozens of riot police stood waiting to escort the human cargo to one of the country's major camps for asylum seekers — an overcrowded, open-door facility that many of the migrants already had left days before.

Disappointed migrants started chanting "No camp!" in Arabic, some tried to flee on foot down the tracks, and one family sat down beside the tracks and appealed to journalists for help. When police told the media to move off the tracks and the family to move inside, the husband in apparent desperation lost emotional control. He threw his own wife and infant child onto the tracks, sat down beside them and started hitting himself in the head as he bemoaned Hungary's unwillingness to let them travel west.

Police in helmets and body armor surrounded the prone family and lifted the man off of his wife and child. Officers handcuffed him as he whimpered, his chest down on the pavement, and carried him away. The woman and infant were escorted off the tracks but not detained.

Other migrants scuffled with police and forced their way back on to the train's carriages, where an hours-long standoff in the sweltering sun began. Police delivered water to the migrants, but many tossed the bottles back, expressing fears that police might have drugged the water and wanted to sedate them.

The question of how to defuse the human gridlock in Hungary was being hotly debated Thursday in Brussels at a meeting between European Union leaders and Hungary's anti-immigrant prime minister, Viktor Orban. Hungary, which for months had done little to prevent asylum applicants from heading west, now says it won't let more migrants deeper into Europe.

"We Hungarians are full of fear. People in Europe are full of fear, because we see that European leaders, among them the prime ministers, are not capable of controlling the situation," Orban said.

Orban principally blamed Germany as he confirmed his government's plan to send at least 3,000 troops to Hungary's southern border with Serbia, where police patrols, razor-wire coils and a 13-foot (4-meter) fence already seek to deter new arrivals. Orban's top aide, Janos Lazar, said 160,000 migrants had reached Hungary this year, nearly 90,000 of them since July 6.

Orban said Hungary's problem with migrants was really "a German problem. Nobody would like to stay in Hungary. All of them would like to go to Germany."

He vowed that Hungary would defend its borders by fingerprinting, photographing and screening all migrants that cross into its territory. Once the proposed measures are passed in parliament, he said, migrants and smugglers alike would be warned of what was to come.

Hungary's parliament is expected to vote on Orban's security and immigration reform measures Friday.

Lazar urged Germany to help ease the situation at the Keleti train station, where an estimated 3,000 people have camped for days. Conditions have grown increasingly squalid despite the efforts of volunteers distributing water, food, medicine and disinfectants.

On Thursday, an AP reporter saw one infant boy beside his sleeping parents crawling onto the pavement to eat breadcrumbs from the floor. Nearby, an unattended toddler walked to a pile of garbage, picking at discarded wrappers in search of candy.

"We would like Germany, where the migrants want to go, to pull its own weight," Lazar said, suggesting the migrants go to the German Embassy in Budapest and apply for a German entry visa.

"We believe this is primarily an immigration crisis, not a refugee crisis, and in this situation Europe can't renounce defending its borders," Lazar told reporters in Parliament.

On Wednesday, migrants had threatened to walk the 105 miles (170 kilometers) to the Austrian border if police wouldn't let them board trains to their desired destinations in Austria and Germany.

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Associated Press reporters Bela Szandelszky in Budapest, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Petr Josek in Bicske, Hungary, contributed to this report.

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