Nearly 200 bars of precious metal made windfall
16 Marzo 2018 13:50
A Russian plane packed full with precious metals lost its cargo while taking off on Thursday, decorating the runway with gold and silver.
The plane had refuelled in an airport at Yakutsk in Siberia and was taking off from the runway when its cargo door flew open, after which nearly 200 bars from the Kupol gold mine in the Chukotka region fell to the ground, investigators said.
It's -21C in Yakutia, sunny, we expect showers of diamond, platinum and gold... Plane loses its $368 million cargo; gems and precious metals rain over Russia’s coldest region as police and secret services stage emergency search https://t.co/NsUeOWxZf5 pic.twitter.com/8OXd6Al9is— The Siberian Times (@siberian_times) March 15, 2018
‘As it gathered height, the cargo door became damaged due to the shifting of cargo’ and part of the cargo was scattered on the runway, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on Telegram.
The plane was forced to land back at the airport, and police immediately sealed off the area to prevent people from trying to steal the precious fallout, Yakutmedia local news site reported.
‘One hundred and seventy two bars have been found weighing around 3.4 tonnes,’ the local interior ministry told TASS state news agency. ‘Only part of the gold fell out – altogether there were around nine tonnes in there.’
Kupol mine where the cargo came from is operated by Canada-based mining company Kinross Gold.
A Russian spokesman for the mining company Kinross Gold, Stanislav Borodyuk, told Interfax news agency that ‘all the cargo has been picked up, there are no losses.’
Investigators said the problem on take-off was likely due to the cargo not being properly stabilised.