BEIJING — Rescuers were searching for 12 missing sailors from a Chinese cargo ship that sank Monday after colliding with another vessel in the mouth of the Pearl River near the southern city of Guangzhou.

The bulk carrier loaded with sand collided at 3 a.m. with a ship carrying steel, news reports said, citing a government statement.

Two sailors from the ship that sank and the 11-member crew of the other vessel were rescued, China National Radio, China Central Television and the Chinese News Service reported.

Rescuers were searching the area with 30 vessels and a helicopter, the reports said. They said the cause of the collision was under investigation.