There were 19 UN employees aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, which crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa on Sunday, killing all 157 passengers and eight crew on board.

Seven of the victims were working for the World Food Program (WFP) and one was working for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN agencies stated.

Three of them were Italian nationals: Virginia Chimenti, 26, Maria Pilar Buzzetti, 30, and Rosemary Mumbi, 48.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives”, and conveyed his “heartfelt sympathies and solidarity to the victims’ families and loved ones”.

The remaining five Italian victims were: Sebastiano Tusa, an underwater archaeologist from Italy who had been travelling to Kenya for a UNESCO conference about safeguarding underwater cultural heritage in Eastern Africa; Paolo Dieci, president of Link 2007, a consortium coordination association that brings together important Italian NGOs; Matteo Ravasio, treasurer of the Italian NGO Africa Tremila; and Carlo Spini, president of Africa Tremila, and his wife Gabriella Viggiani.

The victims were of more than 35 nationalities, including 32 from Kenya, 18 from Canada, nine from Ethiopia, eight from the US, seven from the UK and seven from France, according to a statement from the UN.

The number of staff from the UN and other aid agencies was particularly high on Sunday as many passengers were travelling to the organisation’s environment assembly in Nairobi.

The cause of the disaster remains unclear.

The pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa, the airline stated, before reportedly losing contact with the control tower six minutes into the flight.

The plane’s first black box was found on Sunday, and the second on Monday.