Hungarian police allowed hundreds of migrants to pour into Budapest’s main railway station on Thursday but authorities cancelled all trains to western Europe, triggering chaos and confusion.
Hundreds of people, many of them refugees from conflicts in the Middle East, stormed a waiting train, cramming children through open windows in the belief a two-day standoff with police had ended and they were being allowed to continue their journey west to Austria, Germany and beyond.
But signs in Hungarian said there were no west-bound trains. It was unclear why the police had suddenly withdrawn, having prevented over 2,000 migrants from entering for two days.
“There’s a German flag on this train so we though it went to Germany. So it’s not going to Germany?” a man clinging with one hand to the doors of a train told a Reuters journalist, declining to be named.
The standoff had become the latest symbol of Europe’s migration crisis, the continent’s worst since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.