7,000 people mass at Austria border crossing – Future asylum shelter in Germany destroyed in arson attackPosted by Jim at Sunday, September 20, 2015
ATHENS, Greece, 20 September 2015 (AP) – The latest developments as European governments rush to cope with the huge number of people moving across Europe. All times local:
Police say an arson attack on a future asylum shelter for up to 400 people in Wertheim in southern Germany destroyed the building so badly that it can no longer be used for the migrants.
The gym had already been equipped with more than 300 beds, but the migrants had not yet moved in when the building was attacked early Sunday. It was not clear who was behind the attack.
Soldiers, police and volunteers are working together to establish order on the Austrian border as about 7,000 people crowd the crossing at Nickelsdorf, near Vienna.
A long line of people fleeing conflict and poverty formed on the empty truck parking lot Sunday as recent arrivals from Hungary waited for buses to take them to temporary shelters across Austria, or to the nearby railway station, where two specially organized trains had already left for Vienna.
Dozens of soldiers, some wearing vests identifying them as military police lined up beside them, arms crossed to keep them in line, as they moved toward the waiting vehicles.
Cabbies were also doing business with migrants who had enough money for the taxi fare to Vienna.
Red cross workers and volunteers set up impromptu feeding stations, handing out sandwiches and noodles.
Not far from the scene, more people arrived by foot, crossing into Austria after buses on the Hungarian side set them out at Hegyeshalom. They appeared tired but happy.
Coast guard officials say 13 migrants have died after their boat collided with a ferry off the Turkish coast.
Turkey's coast guard agency said in a statement to its website that it intervened after being alerted that a commercial vessel hit a migrant boat off the western port city of Canakkale and that bodies were in the water.
An official at the agency says that eight people had been rescued following Sunday's incident. He said search-and-rescue operations were ongoing.
Further details about the crash were not immediately available. [more]