A Nimbus Airlines An-12 plane dropped tons of gold on the runway after a malfunctioning cargo hatch reportedly left millions of dollars worth of precious metals scattered on the tarmac at Yakutsk Airport after take-off.
The cargo plane was carrying more than nine tons of material belonging to the Mining and Geological Company in the neighboring Chukotka region.
The unsecured cargo fell from the back of the plane when the hatch opened during take-off. The offending hatch then detached from the plane and fell on a local auto market. No one was injured in the incident.
After leaving its cargo on the runway, the plane made a successful landing in the nearby Magan Airport. The investigative committee did not disclose the nature of the lost metal but Russia’s eastern region is famous for its gold mines and diamond production.
TASS cited officials from the Interior Ministry as saying that some 172 gold bars weighing about 3.4 tons were recovered. According to the Mash Telegram channel, the total cargo is worth the hefty sum of 21.6 billion rubles (US$380 million).
According to an official from the Canadian-based Kinross Gold Corporation, which operates mines in Russia, the trove are Doré bars, semi-pure alloys of gold and silver which are later transported to a refinery for purification.
RT.com / AA Magnum News 2018.