Russian Runway Paved In Gold


The cargo door of an Antonov An-12, a Soviet-era cargo plane, loaded with nine metric tons of gold broke open as the aircraft took off from Yakutsk in East Siberia. The aircraft’s door apparently gave way and broke off due to the weight shifting in the cargo hold. Gold alloy bars were then strewn across the runway and on the airport property. The aircraft then went on to land successfully at an airport several kilometers away. They were en route from a mine in Kupol to Krasnoyarsk and made a refueling stop in Yakutsk. It was carrying a cargo of gold-silver alloy bars belonging to the Chukot Mining and Geological Company, according to the Russian news agency, TASS.

All 172 bars of the gold/silver alloy were recovered, according to Russian authorities. However, a warning was issued stating that anyone finding a gold bar and failing to report it would be prosecuted, a New York Times story about the incident said. The gold alloy was reported to be worth $156 million. No one was injured in the incident.