A plane in Russia lost much of its precious cargo after a door accidentally flew open upon takeoff and sent gold and platinum bars as well as diamonds flying across the runway. According to local news reports, at least three tonnes of gold worth a stunning $378 million was scattered across the tarmac. The incident took place on Thursday in Russia’s eastern city of Yakutsk.
According to Tass, an An-12 cargo plane operated by the airline Nimbus carrying about nine tonnes of precious metals lost at least third of its cargo during takeoff from the Yakutsk airport.
Ok. Gold rain drops looked that way on Yakutsk Airport’s runway. Pretty heavy and sonorous… Video by transport police from Whatsapp. pic.twitter.com/YYiO1P6lh7
— Bolot Bochkarev (@yakutia) March 15, 2018
Damage to the plane’s cargo hatch and possibly strong winds caused it to fly open. Some reports suggest the staff who prepared the plane for takeoff may be to blame for the glitch.
The plane made an emergency landing at a village 12 kilometers from Yakutsk.
And while all the crew members on-board the flight were safe, the same could not be said of its priceless contents.
Nimbus AL Antonov An-12 (RA-11130) substantially damaged when its cargo shifted rearwards on take-off rotation at Yakutsk Airport, Russia tearing through the cargo hatch. The cargo of 9 tons of gold ingots spread all across the runway. An-12 landed safely. https://t.co/CfnsG6ylMYpic.twitter.com/jYB6zPl1Zh
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) March 15, 2018
Eyewitnesses say they saw the gold, platinum and diamonds sparkling in the snow.
… Golden fever in Yakutiya… the locals start searching for gold bars that fell from the sky pic.twitter.com/wZcM6qkYaz
— Russian Market (@russian_market) March 15, 2018
Local authorities immediately sealed the runway and began a search to recover the precious metals, reports The Moscow Times. “A total of 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tonnes have been found so far,” a local transport police spokesperson told Tass.
Wonder who will get their hands on the rest of the sparklers and precious metal ingots.
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