At least 22 migrants died when their boat sank off the coast of Madagascar over the weekend, the island nation’s maritime authorities said on Monday.
“Forty-seven people had clandestinely taken a boat headed to (the French territory of) Mayotte, but that sank,” the Madagascar maritime authority APMF said in a statement.
“Twenty-three of the passengers were able to be saved. Twenty-two bodies were found,” it said, adding that the accident occurred on Saturday and that search-and-rescue operations were continuing for the two people who remained missing.
Many migrants try each year to reach the French territory of Mayotte, which lies north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
In 2021, more than 6,500 people were detained trying to enter the territory clandestinely, according to French authorities.
There are no viable statistics on how many people have lost their lives in attempting such crossings. A French senate report published in the early 2000s estimated that, at that time, around 1,000 people were dying each year.