A private bus ran amok at Devarayapuram on Saturday, killing two persons and ploughing through a tea stall.

The bus came to a halt after it got stuck in the slush but not before knocking down a tree and a boundary stone of the highways department. About 40 passengers were travelling in the bus.

There could be more loss of lives had the vehicle not got stuck in the mud, the police said.

Enquiries with the passengers revealed that the driver was not at the wheel. A youth in khakhi (the uniform of the crew), who was relatively inexperienced, was given the wheel as the driver wanted to have food.

The bus went out of control at a blind curve at Devarayapuram and knocked down Ganesan (38), a salesman at a Tasmac outlet in Erumapatty, and Ramasamy (45) a farmer, killing them on the spot.

The vehicle then swerved to the extreme right side of the road, hit the tea stall and uprooted the tree and the boundary stone.

The driver, conductor and the youth fled the spot.

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