Police have launched an investigation after an eight-year-old girl was fatally shot in the small far north Queensland community of Aurukun.

An eight-year-old girl has been fatally shot in an indigenous community in far north Queensland.

Police say she was shot at a house in Aurukun, just south of Weipa on Cape York, about 7am (AEST) on Tuesday.

Weipa Police Inspector Paul James told AAP the girl may have been shot accidentally but investigations were ongoing.

“We can’t really say [whether or not it was an accident]. Obviously we’ve got to treat it as if it wasn’t but I think that will be the outcome,” he said.

Insp James says there were a number of family members at the house when the girl was shot, including other children.

He says police were investigating the possibility another child had been playing with the gun at the time.

“It’s tragic, obviously,” he said.

“It’s a terrible thing for any community. It’s only a small community so everyone will be affected in some way.”

Investigators from Cairns have been flown to Aurukun.