PARIS (Reuters) - Three French Defence Ministry officials and two private contractors died when their plane on a surveillance mission over the Mediterranean crashed at an airport in Malta during take-off, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The ministry will conduct an investigation on what caused the crash on Monday morning, Le Drian said in a statement.

(Reporting by Marine Pennetier and Ingrid Melander; Editing by Leigh Thomas)