Rescue workers scoured the Danube River in downtown Budapest Thursday for 21 people missing after a sightseeing boat carrying South Korean tourists sank in a matter of seconds after colliding with a larger cruise ship during an evening downpour.

Seven people are confirmed dead and seven were rescued, Hungarian officials said. Police launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

The South Korea-based Very Good Tour agency, which organized the trip, said the boat had been on its way back after an hourlong night tour on Wednesday evening when the accident happened.

A fire brigade rescue boat takes part in the search operations for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller sightseeing boat on the previous evening. A massive search was underway on the river for 21 people missing after the sightseeing boat with 33 South Korean tourists sank after colliding with another vessel during an evening downpour. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)
A fire brigade rescue boat takes part in the search operations for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller sightseeing boat on the previous evening. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)

Nineteen South Koreans and two Hungarian crew members are missing. The tour party had consisted of 30 tourists, two guides and a photographer on a package tour of Europe. Pal Gyorfi, spokesman for the National Ambulance Service, said those rescued were hospitalized in stable condition.

The sunken boat was located early Thursday near the Margit Bridge, not far from the neo-Gothic Parliament building on the riverbank.

Police Col. Adrian Pal said the boat turned on its side and sank in about seven seconds. He said that rescue operations were hampered by the rain and the fast flow of the rising Danube. The search for the 21 missing extended far downstream, even into Serbia, where the Danube goes after leaving Hungary.

National disaster management rescue staff participate in a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller tourist cruise ship on the previous evening. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
National disaster management rescue staff participate in a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller tourist cruise ship on the previous evening. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)

The river, which is 450 meters (500 yards) wide at the point of the accident, was fast-flowing and rising as heavy rain continued in the city. Water temperatures were about 10 to 12 degrees Celsius (50-53 degrees Fahrenheit).

Earlier, the news website Index.hu said one of those rescued was found near the Petofi Bridge, which is about 3 kilometers (2 miles) south of Parliament.

Dozens of rescue personnel, including from the military and divers, were involved in the search. Employees from the South Korean Embassy in Budapest were assisting Hungarian officials in identifying those rescued and the deceased.

Abrasive damage is visible on the Viking Sigyn hotelship on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of the hotelship and a sightseeing boat. A massive search was underway on the river for 21 people missing after the sightseeing boat with 33 South Korean tourists sank after colliding with another vessel during an evening downpour. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)
Abrasive damage is visible on the Viking Sigyn hotelship on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of the hotelship and a sightseeing boat. (Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in instructed officials to employ “all available resources” to support the rescue efforts in Hungary. Moon’s spokeswoman, Ko Min-jung, said in Seoul that Moon also ordered the launch of a government task force led by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and for officials to maintain close communication with the family members of the South Korean passengers.

A team of South Korean officials left for Hungary on Thursday to assist with the rescue operations and support passengers and their families. Kang was also to travel to Hungary.

The ministry in a briefing Thursday said that the Seoul government will closely cooperate with Hungarian officials so that the rescue efforts can proceed swiftly and effectively. It said the tourists were not wearing life jackets.

A woman standing takes a picture at Margit Bridge, where the wreck of a sightseeing boat was found on the Danube River, in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A massive search was underway on the river for missing people after the sightseeing boat with 33 South Korean tourists sank after colliding with another vessel during an evening downpour. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)
A woman standing takes a picture at Margit Bridge, where the wreck of a sightseeing boat was found on the Danube River, in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

The Very Good Tour agency said the tourists left South Korea on May 25 and were supposed to return June 1.

Most of them were family groups, and they included a 6-year-old girl. Her status wasn’t immediately clear but she didn’t appear on a list of survivors provided by the tour agency.

Senior agency official Lee Sang-moo disclosed the identities of the seven rescued South Koreans — six women and one man, aged between 31 and 66. The company is arranging for family members of the tourists to travel to Hungary as soon as possible.

A woman standing looks at Margit Bridge, where the wreck of a sightseeing boat was found on the Danube River, in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A massive search was underway on the river for missing people after the sightseeing boat with 33 South Korean tourists sank after colliding with another vessel during an evening downpour. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)
A woman standing looks at Margit Bridge, where the wreck of a sightseeing boat was found on the Danube River, in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

The boat that sank was identified as the Hableany (Mermaid), which is described on the sightseeing company’s website as “one of the smallest members of the fleet.” It has two decks and a capacity for 60 people, or 45 for sightseeing cruises.

Mihaly Toth, a spokesman for the Panorama Deck boating company, said the Hableany was on a “routine city sightseeing trip” when the accident happened. He told state television that he had no information about any technical problems with the boat, which he said was serviced regularly. Hajoregiszter.hu, a local ship-tracking website, lists the Hableany as having been built in 1949 in what was then the Soviet Union.

The Margit Bridge connects the two halves of the city, Buda and Pest, with a large recreational island in the middle of the Danube. It is the bridge just north of the famous Chain Bridge, a suspension bridge originally built in the 19th century that, like the Parliament, is a major tourist draw in the heart of the city.

Rescuers search for victims on the river bank early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, overturned and sank in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Rescuers search for victims on the river bank early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, overturned and sank in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)

The river flows south, meaning that survivors were likely to be swept through the well-populated, historic part of the city.

Index.hu reported that other riverboats shined spotlights into the water to aid with the search, and that a film crew operating on the Liberty Bridge farther down the river directed its lighting equipment toward the Danube to assist. In recent years, Budapest has emerged as a popular destination for film, television and other commercial video production.

Budapest has enjoyed a boom in overseas tourism in recent years. Long-haul flights from as far away as Dubai and Beijing increasingly fly visitors from Asia and the Middle East to the Hungarian capital, a relatively affordable but history-rich European destination. Budapest’s airport said it handled a record number of travelers in 2018, with passenger numbers surging more than 13 percent to 14.9 million.

South Korean Embassy personnel help identifying the victims of an accident during a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A massive search was underway on the Danube River in downtown Budapest for missing people after a sightseeing boat with 33 South Korean tourists collided with another vessel and sank during an evening downpour.(Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
South Korean Embassy personnel help identifying the victims of an accident during a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
Ships conduct a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, as a sightseeing boat collided with another vessel and capsized Wednesday night. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Ships conduct a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, as a sightseeing boat collided with another vessel and capsized Wednesday night. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A fire brigade rescue boat takes a part in the search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30 2019, as a sightseeing boat collided with another vessel and capsized Wednesday night. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A fire brigade rescue boat takes a part in the search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30 2019, as a sightseeing boat collided with another vessel and capsized Wednesday night. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A fire brigade rescue boat takes part in the search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30 2019, as a sightseeing boat collided with another vessel and capsized Wednesday night. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A fire brigade rescue boat takes part in the search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30 2019, as a sightseeing boat collided with another vessel and capsized Wednesday night. The cruise ship sank with thirty-three South Korean passengers and two Hungarian staff on board. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
National disaster management rescue staff participate in a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller tourist cruise ship on the previous evening. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
National disaster management rescue staff participate in a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller tourist cruise ship on the previous evening. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
National disaster management rescue staff participate in a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller tourist cruise ship on the previous evening. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
National disaster management rescue staff participate in a search operation for survivors on the River Danube in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, May 30, 2019, following a collision of a hotel ship and a smaller tourist cruise ship on the previous evening. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Rescuers search for victims on the river bank early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, overturned and sank in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Rescuers search for victims on the river bank early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, overturned and sank in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.  (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.  (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches of victims after a tourist boat crashed with another ship late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The boat capsized and sunk in the Danube River Wednesday evening, May 29, 2019, in Budapest, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches of victims after a tourist boat crashed with another ship late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The boat capsized and sunk in the Danube River Wednesday evening, May 29, 2019, in Budapest, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
Lee Sang-moo, senior official of The Very Good Tour agency, top center, speaks during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Lee Sang-moo, senior official of The Very Good Tour agency, top center, speaks during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Rescuers and police officers inspect the River Danube from a landing dock after a tourist boat crashed with another ship late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The boat capsized and sunk in the Danube River Wednesday evening, May 29, 2019, in Budapest, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
Rescuers and police officers inspect the River Danube from a landing dock after a tourist boat crashed with another ship late Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The boat capsized and sunk in the Danube River Wednesday evening, May 29, 2019, in Budapest, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
The Very Good Tour agency senior official Lee Sang-moo, left, bows to make an apology during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
The Very Good Tour agency senior official Lee Sang-moo, left, bows to make an apology during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
The Very Good Tour agency senior official Lee Sang-moo, right, speaks during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
The Very Good Tour agency senior official Lee Sang-moo, right, speaks during a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
The Very Good Tour agency senior official Lee Sang-moo, center, arrives to hold a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
The Very Good Tour agency senior official Lee Sang-moo, center, arrives to hold a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Members of the South Korean embassy Budapest staff talk with police officers on the river bank in Budapest early Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest.(Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
Members of the South Korean embassy Budapest staff talk with police officers on the river bank in Budapest early Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest.(Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches for victims late Wednesday, May 29, 2019, after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, in River Danube in Budapest. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.(Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches for victims late Wednesday, May 29, 2019, after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, in River Danube in Budapest. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.(Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Employees of Very Good Tour Co. talk on the phones at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. The tourists are confirmed to have been on a package tour to Hungary sold by the travel agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Employees of Very Good Tour Co. talk on the phones at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. The tourists are confirmed to have been on a package tour to Hungary sold by the travel agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A woman moves past a gate of the headquarters of Very Good Tour Co. in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. 
A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. The South Korean tourists are confirmed to have been on a package tour to Hungary sold by the travel agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A woman moves past a gate of the headquarters of Very Good Tour Co. in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. The South Korean tourists are confirmed to have been on a package tour to Hungary sold by the travel agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A man stands in front of a gate of the headquarters of Very Good Tour Co. in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. 
A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. The South Korean tourists are confirmed to have been on a package tour to Hungary sold by the travel agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A man stands in front of a gate of the headquarters of Very Good Tour Co. in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A sightseeing boat carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two crew members collided with another vessel and sank in the Danube River in downtown Budapest. The South Korean tourists are confirmed to have been on a package tour to Hungary sold by the travel agency. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.  (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Police officers stand on a landing dock early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary, late Wednesday, May 29. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Police and ambulances are parked on the river bank early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.(Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
Police and ambulances are parked on the river bank early Thursday, May 30, 2019 after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat in River Danube in Budapest, Hungary. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.(Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches for victims late Wednesday, May 29, 2019, after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, in River Danube in Budapest. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.  (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches for victims late Wednesday, May 29, 2019, after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, in River Danube in Budapest. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches for victims late Wednesday, May 29, 2019, after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, in River Danube in Budapest. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported.  (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
A rescue boat searches for victims late Wednesday, May 29, 2019, after a tourist boat crashed with a river cruise boat, in River Danube in Budapest. The boat capsized and sunk in the river Wednesday evening, with dozens of people on board, including passengers and crew, Hungarian media reported. (Peter Lakatos/MTI via AP)
Kang Hyung-sik, head of South Korean Foreign Ministry response team, speaks during a briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A tour agency says the family members of seven South Koreans killed during a boat capsizing in Budapest will fly to the Hungarian capital as early as Thursday night. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Kang Hyung-sik, head of South Korean Foreign Ministry response team, speaks during a briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 30, 2019. A tour agency says the family members of seven South Koreans killed during a boat capsizing in Budapest will fly to the Hungarian capital as early as Thursday night. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)