At least 21 people were killed on the River Nile north of Cairo on Wednesday (July 22) after a collision between cargo ship and a boat, chartered for engagement celebration.

The interior ministry had said the boat was damaged from the collision, causing it to sink. It is still unknown the exact amount of passengers, who were onboard the boat.

Five people were rescued from the river but at least six were still missing early on Thursday.

In a statement on Thursday, the Egypt's health ministry informed that the death toll from a collision of two boats on the Nile, has risen to 21, after two more bodies were retrieved from the river.

Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, the health ministry spokesman said the rescue efforts continued Wednesday night, hampered by the darkness.

Abdel-Ghaffar said only 12 bodies had arrived in the morgues of hospitals nearby. He also said no less than seven children were among those who drowned, including a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old.

Egyptian Police said they had arrested the captain of the cargo boat and his deputy after the accident.

Nile traffic has been heavy, especially near Cairo, as Egyptians celebrated the Eid ul-Fitr holiday following the holy month of Ramadan.

Nile rides are prefered way to relax during the holidays but many city dwellers also use the passenger boats for travel along the Nile.

The accident is one of many that happen on the Nile and off Egypt’s coast each year.

In such a deadly accident from February 2006, Egyptian ferry sank in the Red Sea and more than 1,000 people were killed.