Photographs of crew members of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane that crashed, are seen during a memorial service by members of the Ethiopian Airline Pilots' Association in Addis Ababa. Photo: Maheder Haileselassie/Reuters.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, on Monday, mourned the loss of the 157 passengers and eight crew members who were killed on flight ET302 from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia to Nairobi in Kenya.

The crash which occurred just after the Boeing 737 Max-8 took off on Sunday just before 9am local time.

According to a statement by the airline, among the passengers were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals.

Nzimande said the cause of the disaster was not yet known. However, the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa.

"South Africa, through the task team comprising of all relevant state entities and agencies such the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), the Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), and the South Africa Search and Rescue will collaborate with their Ethiopian counterparts to offer any necessary assistance and skills needed to ensure the speedy conclusion of the investigation to this crash," said Nzimande

African News Agency (ANA