About 150 people are missing after the boat they were travelling in sank in Lake Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday, the government has said.

President Felix Tshisekedi’s office confirmed that three bodies have been recovered, 33 passengers rescued and the provisional toll is 150 people missing.

The president expressed sadness after the disaster, saying his government is following the situation closely in order to identify and sanction those responsible.

The boat set off Monday from the village of Kituku, near the city of Goma on Lake Kivu’s northern shore, and sank in South Kivu Province near the territory of Kalehe.

A government official, Vital Muhini said the cause of the sinking was unknown.

“For the moment, we want to have the exact number and the names of the victims who have embarked on this boat,” Mr. Muhini said.

Because of a lack of public infrastructure in Congo, some private operators use boats to speed transport between regions.

Many of the boats do not meet safety requirements, however, and shipwrecks in Congo are often caused by overloading and a lack of signs and alerts regarding lake conditions.

-New York Times