Plane loses its 368 million cargo of gold, platinum and diamonds on takeoff
Gems and precious metals rain over Russia’s coldest region as police and secret services stage emergency search.
The plane with ten tons of gold, platinum and diamonds lost part of its cargo after taking off from Yakutsk airport today.
More rained down as the aircraft gained height.
The Nimbus Airlines AN-12 cargo plane hit problems during takeoff; the treasures fell out of the hold all over the runway.
The plane then dropped some bars of gold as far as 26 kilometres from the airport.
The crew decided to land at the nearby airport of Magan, some 26 kilometres north-west of Yakutsk.
Police sealed off the runway and a vast search is underway.
The plane was en route to Krasnoyarsk and further to Kupol (Dome) mine.
The cargo was reported to be owned by Chukota Mining and Geological company; 75 per cent of the private company is owner by Canadian Kinross Gold.
Technical engineers at the Yakutsk airport who prepared the plane for takeoff have been detained.
The value of the load was put at 21 billion roubles.
Yakutsk is capital of Yakutia or the Sasha Republic, Russia’s diamond producing region.