A woman and a child were fatally attacked by a polar bear in Alaska on Tuesday, authorities said.

The bear went on a rampage in the small Welsh community, and a resident fatally shot the polar bear as it attacked the woman and child, the state Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

The identities of the two could not be released publicly because authorities were still notifying their families, the department said. Their ages were also not available.

The attack was reported around 2:30 p.m.

“Initial reports indicate that a polar bear entered the community and chased several residents,” the dispatch says.

An investigation was underway, but it could take time. Soldiers and officials from the state Department of Fish and Game will travel there when weather conditions permit, according to the dispatch.

A spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fatal polar bear attacks have been rare in Alaska’s recent history. In 1990, a man was killed by a polar bear further north in Wales, in the village of Point Lay. Biologists later said the animal was showing signs of starvation, the Anchorage Daily News reported. reported.

A study 2017 found that polar bear attacks on humans increased this century and were most likely to occur when sea ice covered the least amount of ground, from July to December. The researchers said that as the ice recedes, the bears are more likely to move inland and confront humans.

Wales is a town of fewer than 200 residents on the Seward Peninsula, about 100 miles northwest of Nome. The Welsh Native Village Tribal Council website describes it as «one of the oldest communities in the Bering Strait region.»

The Associated Press contributed.