Eight passengers died after a Bolivian plane carrying 18 people crashed yesterday, while trying to land during bad weather in the north of the country.

Heavy rain was falling as the small turboprop plane tried to land in Riberalta, in Beni department near the Brazilian border, according to witnesses.

The plane operated by local airline Aerocon took off from Trinidad, Beni's capital.

Eighteen people were on board, according to the director of the Riberalta hospital, Jose Luis Pereira.

"(There were) 16 passengers and the pilot and co-pilot, of whom 10 survived and eight died," he said. 

"The pilot and the co-pilot are in the gravest situation ... Seven (bodies) are (so) charred, we can't identify them."

A photo on the website of local newspaper La Razon showed smoke billowing from a propeller lying on the grass.

President Evo Morales said he had ordered "a deep investigation" into the accident and "drastic sanctions on the company".