Heartbreaking photos of Ethiopian mourners as they ‘bury’ crash victims.

Though it’s going to take a considerable amount of time for the remains of the victims of the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash to be returned to their families, a mass funeral was held in Addis Ababa on Sunday with 17 empty caskets in what was a very heartbreaking and emotional ceremony. Wrapped with the Ethiopian flag, the coffins were paraded through the streets of Addis Ababa with thousands of mourners showing up to pay their respect. The fatal incident, which happened six minutes after the plane took off in Addis Ababa on Sunday, March 10, resulted in all 157 people on board the flight perishing. A total of 35 nationalities were onboard including a UN passport holder. 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight Chinese, eight Americans, and seven British nationals were among the passengers. The cause of the disaster is not yet known but air traffic monitor Flightradar24reported that the plane’s “vertical speed was unstable after take-off,” cites the BBC. The airline also said the pilot had reported difficulties and had asked to return to Addis Ababa before the plane crashed around the town of Bishoftu, which is 60km (37 miles) south-east of the capital. As families impatiently wait for their loved ones to be identified and returned to them, they have received a kilogram of sand from the crash site from authorities in the interim, reports VOA.