At least 17 people were killed and another 30 injured in Bolivia early yesterday morning when two passenger buses collided head-on while driving down a dark rural highway.

The accident occurred about 310 kilometres (190 miles) east of Santa Cruz, near the town of Taperas in Santa Cruz state, not far from the border of Chuquisaca department.

Once the injured survivors were pulled from the wreckage, rescue workers began removing lifeless bodies from the two vehicles.

The injured were taken to a hospital in the nearby town of San Jose de Chiquitos where they were treated for their injuries.

"Throughout the day, the police have been bringing the bodies. We now have around eleven.

"They've said they will bring more," said a doctor working on the case.

The accident marked the fourth major accident already this year in Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the Americas.

As many as 63 people have been killed on the countries often precarious highways with another 11 missing and more than 400 injured this year alone.