Siberia was the site of a golden runway Thursday, as the cargo door of a Russian plane flew open, scattering tons of gold bars on the ground, The Guardian reported.
The Antonov plane was taking off after refueling at Yakutsk when its cargo door opened. Nearly 200 bars from the Kupol gold mine tumbled onto the runway.
Officials said the total weight of the bars on the plane was 9.3 tons. Not all of the bars fell out; officials estimated about 3.4 tons hit the ground.
“As it gathered height, the cargo door became damaged due to the shifting of cargo” and the precious metals were scattered on the runway, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The plane was forced to return to the airport, and police sealed off the area to prevent people from collecting the gold, the Yakutmedia local news site reported.
The local interior ministry told the TASS state news agency that 172 bars have been found.