The conductor and a passenger of a State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) bus died after the vehicle rammed a stationary lorry on the Tiruchi-Madurai national highway at Thuvarankurichi in the early hours of Friday.

The SETC bus was on its way to Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram when the accident occurred. Police sources said two lorries carrying cashew nuts were proceeding to Chennai from Tuticorin when the tyre of one of the goods carriers got punctured.

The lorry was stationed on roadside and the driver of the other goods carrier halted the vehicle to assist in changing the tyre.

The bus driver apparently dozed off for a moment and lost control, and the vehicle rammed the stationary lorry.

The bus conductor, P. Rajalojanan Thambi (51), and a male bus passenger, aged around 50 years, died.

The identity of the bus passenger is yet to be established.

Fifteen other occupants of the bus were injured. Of them, 11 were treated as outpatients and four others were referred to the government hospital in Tiruchi.

Thuvarankurichi police have registered a case.