This story has been updated to include new information from police.
Passengers expecting a “night of fear” got more than they bargained for Thursday when the shuttle bus taking them to their destination went the wrong way — and then just kept going, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Passengers got on a bus to the haunted attraction “Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor,” which promised to take them to the event and back after a “night of fear,” according to the Queen Mary website.
The trip was supposed to be only a few miles, lasting about 10 minutes, according to map data. But the shuttle veered off course and instead traveled into the nearby city of Carson, the Los Angeles Times reported. Police said passengers dialed 911 after becoming concerned.
“He wasn’t responding to anybody,” Ashia Souder said about the driver, according to KABC. “And I was like, ‘We’re getting kidnapped.’
But on Friday, police said there was no kidnapping plot — the driver had simply gotten lost.
Police said the 60-year-old bus driver, who was taken in for questioning, had gotten disoriented by street closures and was released pending an investigation, according to the Press Telegram.
“Patrons began exiting the bus through various emergency exits while stopped at a traffic light,” Officer Alvino Herrera said, according to the paper.. “We understand how this situation evolved into fear … However, through their investigation, detectives learned the driver was simply lost.”
Police said on Twitter that the incident was being investigated as a possible battery between the driver and the passenger, not a kidnapping.
“The safety and security of our guests are paramount. We are working with all parties involved to learn more about the incident with this vendor, and will provide updates as more information develops,” a Queen Mary representative said in a statement to McClatchy.
Video captured from inside the bus, obtained by KNX 1070, shows a chaotic and harrowing scene. Passengers shriek and yell in a panic. People open the windows of the bus and climb out, while some who had already crawled through the windows stand below helping others.
At the front of the bus, a man can be seen confronting the driver..
“I’m telling you. I’m telling you to stop, open the door,” the man says. “Open the door!” another man shouts from further back. A chorus of voices repeat, “Open the door!”
The driver sits down.
“You’re not listening!” the man at the front of the bus shouts
“I told him straight up, ‘At this point it’s kidnapping. You can’t hold us like this,’ ” Brian Corbitt said, according to KABC. “I stood up with him, and he just whipped around and nailed me in the stomach and knocked me back into a seat.”
Corbitt declined to comment to the Press Telegram, saying he needed to speak to his lawyer, according to the paper.
The driver eventually opened the door and police arrived, where he was originally taken into custody, KACB reported.