In a scene befitting the climax of a 90's Hollywood movie, the door of a Russian plane loaded with gold, platinum and diamonds flung open littering the runaway with precious metals. The Antonov plane was taking off from Takutsk in Siberia after refuelling when the cargo door opened strewing nearly 200 bars from Kupol gold mine. The cargo weighed 9.3 tonnes and is reportedly worth USD 368 million.
"As it gathered height, the cargo door became damaged due to the shifting of cargo," said Russia's Investigative Committee, as mentioned in The Guardian. This threw out part of the cargo.
The Nimbus Airlines AN-12 cargo plane landed back at the airport and the police cordoned off the area fearing a rush of civilians to the site.
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/NsUeOWxZf5pic.twitter.com/8OXd6Al9is
As mentioned in the news site, local interior ministry said that one hundred and seventy two bars have been found, weighing 3.4 tonnes. They also added that only part of the gold flew out, while the rest remained inside.
A Russian spokesperson for Kinross Gold, the Canada-based company that operates Kupol mine said that all the cargo has been picked up and that there were no losses. He added that the bars were a semi-pure alloy of silver and gold called Dore.
So far investigators believe that the incident occurred because the cargo was not properly stabilised.