Rescue services and investigators on the scene after a collision of a river cruise with a tugboat in the city of Volgograd, Russia. Picture: Russian Emergencies Ministry/Handout via Reuters

Moscow - Eleven people on a river cruise were killed when their boat collided with a tugboat late on Monday in the Russian city of Volgograd, which is hosting matches in the soccer World Cup, rescue services said.

Emergencies services received notification at around 10 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Monday that the vessels had collided on the Volga River, about 250 metres from the riverbank.

There were 16 people on board the pleasure craft, all of them Russians, the RIA news agency cited the local administration as saying.

Five people had been rescued, and three of the survivors were in hospital, according to the website of regional governor Andrei Bocharov.

Rescue boats are seen after a collision of a river cruise with a tugboat in the city of Volgograd, Russia. Picture: Russian Emergencies Ministry/Handout via Reuters

An investigation has been opened into the cause of the collision. According to state TV channel Rossiya-24, the passenger vessel was overloaded and its marker lights were off when the collision happened.

Picture: Russian Emergencies Ministry/Handout via Reuters

Volgograd, known as Stalingrad from 1925-1961 and site of the largest and bloodiest battle of World War Two, will host World Cup opening round matches involving England, Tunisia, Nigeria, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Japan and Poland.

The first is the June 18 game between England and Tunisia.