First refugees arrive in Austria from Hungary

Hungary allows Syrian refugees into Austria and Germany after days of stand-offs and scuffles

Refugees celebrate as they are allowed to cross the borders into Austria
Refugees celebrate as they are allowed to cross the borders into Austria

Thousands of refugees have arrived in Austria after Hungary's surprise move to provide buses for them, according to international media. Hungary had blocked migrants from travelling by train to Western Europe, saying it was obliged to register them, sparking angry scenes and even scuffles.

Austria says it has agreed with Germany to let the arrivals cross their European member states are struggling to agree on how to deal with an unprecedented surge in asylum seekers.

About 1,200 people had set off westwards through Hungary to the Austrian border early on Friday evening, on foot and in cars, while many more remained at Budapest’s Keleti railway terminus, but Hungarian authorities announced they would provide buses to take the refugees to the Austrian border and a rapid embarkation began in Budapest, where many were camped at Keleti railway station.

By 3am local time news channels and social media showed people being met by Austrian authorities at Nickelsdorf as the first buses arrived. There were scenes of hot drinks being handed out in cups from an outdoor kitchen to passengers from the buses and they were later ushered into shelters where more food and stretcher beds awaited.

Vehicles were also sent to collect hundreds who broke away from the camp to walk on foot along the main road to Austria.

The BBC adds that when the buses arrived to collect them, some of the refugees argued with officials, fearful they would be arrested rather than sent to Germany, however later, small groups crossed the borders, with some Austrians putting up welcome signs.

Austrian Red Cross workers at a makeshift centre greeted them with blankets and tea and Austrian police said up to 3,000 migrants had arrived by Saturday morning.