The Air Niugini plane was on approach to the airport at the island, part of the Federated States of Micronesia, when it apparently fell short of the runway. A cargo plane belonging to Air Niugini went off a runway at Madang Airport in 2013, but there were no casualties.
The accident took place at the Chuuk global airport on the Weno island of the South Pacific nation of Micronesia.
It had been on route to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
It remains unclear what caused the plane to crash.
"The aircraft had 35 passengers and 12 crew members onboard, all of whom were able to safely evacuate the aircraft".
Chuuk Airport Manager Jimmy Emilio was quoted by The Guam Daily Post as saying that when the plane went down, local boaters and a local rescue team rushed to the crash site.
Passengers can be seen evacuating the submerged aircraft.
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Only the top half of the plane was visible in a photo obtained by RNZ Pacific, and small boats boarded with people were scattered around it.
Air Niugini in Port Moresby was not immediately available for comment.
The aircraft was being operated by Air Niugini, the national carrier of Papua New Guinea.
Social media video footage has shown locals trying to assist in getting passengers away from the plane in small boats.
Papua New Guinea Accident Investigation Commission is now preparing a team to investigate the site of the accident.