A New Zealander is reported to have survived a deadly plane crash in Papua New Guinea.

Airlines PNG has confirmed one of its Dash 8 aircraft has crashed near Madang and grounded its fleet of 12 aircraft until further notice.

In a statement on its website, the airline said there were 28 passengers and four crew members on the plane and there appeared to be some survivors, while a number of people remained unaccounted for.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said the New Zealand High Commission was working to confirm the nationalities of those involved and could not yet confirm a New Zealander was involved was aboard.

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Sky News Australia reported a New Zealander and an Australian were aboard and survived the crash.

"We are sad to confirm that there has been an accident involving an Airlines PNG Dash 8 aircraft near Madang late Thursday afternoon," the airline's media statement said.

"Airlines PNG is working with the emergency service authorities to confirm this information in more detail."

It said a full investigation was under way by authorities and Airlines PNG as to the possible cause of the accident.

"Our prayers and thoughts are now with all those affected by this very sad day for Papua New Guinea," the statement said.

-AAP