According to Madagascar’s Port Authority, twenty-two people lost their lives after a boat carrying them off Madagascar capsized while they attempted to sail to the French island of Mayotte.

The Maritime and River Port Agency said in a statement that the boat which was carrying 47 people, capsized on Saturday in the seas off Ankazomborona in the north of Madagascar.

The agency said the boat had suffered an accident, after which 23 of those on board were saved, while 22 bodies had been found. The other two were unaccounted for.

A police officer who did not wish to be named said most of those who had been rescued had fled to avoid being apprehended for attempting to travel to Mayotte.