Egypt's health ministry says the death toll from a collision of two boats on the Nile the night before has risen to 17, after two more bodies were retrieved from the river.

Health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar told The Associated Press the search for the victims continued into Thursday. A passenger boat and a scow collided late Wednesday near Cairo. Initially, 15 bodies were recovered and four were rescued.

Prosecutor Khaled Abdel-Hameed ordered the scow's captain and his assistant detained, accusing them of manslaughter.

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

Nile rides are among favorite pastimes during the holidays but many city dwellers also use the passenger boats for travel along the Nile.