At least 21 migrants from Africa died when their ship sank in Tunisia as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa, a Tunisian official said on Friday. Mouard Mechri, director of Tunisia’s civil defense service, told Reuters:

The ship sank during a voyage that began late Thursday from the town of Sfax. So far the Coast Guard has found 21 bodies and the search is still ongoing.

Last month 39 migrants died off the coast of Sfax, a Tunisian port city, in a similar accident. The coastline near Sfax has become a major departure point for people fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East and seeking a better life in Europe.