Three people have died in a crash north of Taupo.

Police have confirmed the fatalities after a crash between a car and a "heavy truck" at around 2:15pm.

The crash occurred on State Highway 1 at Atiamuri, just south of the intersection with SH30, police said.

Firefighters, paramedics and the police serious crash unit were all at the scene.

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A Fire Service spokesman said one person was "severely trapped" in the wreckage and crews were in the process of extricating them.

Unfortunately attempts to save that person's life were unsuccessful.

Diversions were in place at SH1/Tram Rd and SH1/Tirohanga Rd.

These were expected to be in place for some time.

People living in the area reported hearing sirens and a rescue helicopter flying overhead as emergency services rushed to the scene.

Bay of Plenty police Senior Sergeant Mike Membery said emergency services were battling a difficult situation for communications.

"Radio and cellphones are basically at zero so we're only getting bits and pieces," Senior Sergeant Membery said.

"We expect the road will be closed until around 7.30pm-8.30pm. There's a detour in place so the public will be able to travel. They may have some delays though."

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Membery described the road surface as "greasy" and urged motorists to watch their speed and drive to the conditions.

"Slow down, drive to the conditions and take a bit more time to get to your location," he said.

"The road conditions are a little treacherous in the area as it has had rain and baking hot sunshine. It's a little greasy."