Chaos as migrants clamor for trains in Budapest

Last Updated Sep 3, 2015 9:03 AM EDT

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Thousands of migrants who had camped in and around a train station in the Hungarian capital crowded onto trains Thursday, believing their dreams of reaching the wealthy nations of northern and western Europe could be about to come true.

CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata says as soon as the doors opened, migrants went flooding in by the hundreds. After days of halted trains, word spread fast.

The migrants, many of them refugees from war-torn Syria, thought they might finally be headed to Germany, Austria... anywhere but Hungary. But nobody was telling them anything. Announcements in the station only said trains were not leaving for Western Europe.

Amjad Bashir from the battered Syrian city of Latakia wondered why authorities would let them in, of not to let them go.

Asked by D'Agata whether he felt like the Hungarian authorities were tricking him, he didn't hesitate:

Migrants find risky moves only way to go through Europe

"They did, that's what we're feeling, that's why we are kind of hesitating to take the train or not," he said.

He was hesitating because the migrants fear that instead of going to other countries in Europe they will instead be taken to holding camps where they will be forced to apply for asylum in Hungary.

"They are prisons more than being a camp," Bashir told D'Agata. "I'm not going there."

On board the train it was even more chaotic. The heat and humidity of the packed car was unbearable. Families with young children and babies struggled for air as CBS News' cameraman repeatedly wiped condensation from his lens to capture the scene.

Hungarian nationals ordered off trains transporting migrants

The people on the train are penniless, hungry and exhaused having spent weeks on the road and more than a week stuck at the station in Budapest. They are desperate to board any train that wikll take them away.

At least two trains packed with migrants did pull out of the station. One of them stopped in the town of Bicske, 22 miles from the capital, where a refugee camp has been set up. There were scuffles as dozens of police forced the protesting migrants off the trains and toward the camp.

Desperate scenes played out as entire families of refugees threw themselves onto the tracks, refusing to be placed in the camps.

A journalist with Britain's ITV watched as a father and mothern clung to their baby on the ground between the two rails.

D'Agata was aboard another train that stopped briefly in Bicske, where officials told Hungarian nationals to disembark. Migrants were told to remain on the train, which then continued on to a town near Hungary's northwest border with Austria, where they were boarded onto buses bound for the Gyor refugee camp.