A boat carrying African migrants headed to Europe capsized off the Mediterranean coast near the Egyptian city of Alexandria overnight, killing at least 42 people, Egyptian authorities said.
The army gave the toll in a statement, saying it had "thwarted an illegal immigration attempt" and that the boat had been 12 nautical miles off the coast when it sank.
Local official Alaa Osman from Beheira province said the migrants were from several African countries.
He said over 150 people have been rescued so far but that bodies are still being pulled from the water.
Egypt's official news agency MENA said the boat was carrying 600 people when it sank near the coast, some 180 kilometres north of the capital, Cairo.
Mr Osman said the boat had likely come from Kafr el-Sheik province, further to the east.
Thousands of illegal migrants have made the dangerous sea voyage across the Mediterranean in recent years fleeing war and poverty, mostly via lawless Libya. Thousands have drowned.