M1 near Austrian border reopens; new waves of refugees leave Keleti on foot

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Hungarian police stationed at Hegyeshalom, northwestern Hungary, near the Austrian border have reportedly reopened the M1 motorway late this afternoon after it was closed hours earlier by Austrian police. Additional waves of refugees continue to depart Budapest on foot, escorted by police.

New wave of refugees head west on Hungaryʼs Route 1. (Photo: MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry)

Massive traffic jams, several kilometers long that formed along the most northwesterly stretch of the M1 after several busloads of refugees were dropped off at the border yesterday evening and this morning have now cleared. 

A new group of refugees have set off on foot from the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest around 5:00 PM today. Rather than take the M1 mortorway, the refugees are being directed by police to walk along Route 1. Meanwhile refugees are reportedly heading west from the camps at Bicske, Vámosszabadi, Debrecen and Röszkei, 444.hu reported. This afternoon, European MP Benedek Jávor posted on his Facebook page that the camp at Bicske released several hundred refugees. 

Refugees were greeted with applause at the Austrian border town of Nickelsdorf after disembarking from buses today. Applause also met refugees arriving in Münich late this afternoon by a train that departed Budapest’s Keleti station this morning. Trains continue to depart hourly from Keleti station, heading west but in the absence of information, refugees are not boarding the trains.

A group of approximately 1,000 refugees, the first in the series, set off from Budapest yesterday just after noon and walked for several hours before being picked up by Hungarian buses summoned by the authorities to take them to the Austrian border. The buses that were transporting refugees from Keleti to the Austrian border this morning are no longer running and it is unclear as to whether more buses will be made available.  

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