Gope: As many as 25 tourists from Madurai in Chennai experienced the shock of their lives after the tipsy driver of the Force Traveller in which they were returning to Bhubaneswar from a trip left the van near Balisahi along Gope-Konark road in Puri district and fled from the spot Friday afternoon.
Eight male and 17 female tourists from Madurai under the leadership of Kuberan Chandra had hired a Force Traveller van (OD 33P-3706) from a Bhubaneswar based travel agency Friday. After visiting Puri, Konark, Ramchandi, Chandrabhaga and some other tourist spots, they were returning to Bhubaneswar.
On the way, the tourists found the driver was drunk, driving dangerously. The female passengers started shouting at the driver, asking him to pull the van up by the roadside.
The driver pulled the van up near Balisahi along Gope-Konark road, got down from the van and fled from the spot.
Seeing the driver running fast, local people guessed he might have committed some crime and gave him a chase but failed in their attempt to nab him.
On being informed, Gope police station inspector-in-charge Sudhir Kumar Sahu reached the spot and summoned the owner of the vehicle to reach the spot immediately.
Eventually the stranded tourists returned to Bhubaneswar but not before kicking their heels for one hour.