We’ve seen some pretty bizarre accidents with transport vehicles including pizza spills, beer spills, entire highways coated with syrup, and even tones of eels scattered on the road causing traffic jam in Oregon, but a recent plane accident in Russia which dropped bricks of gold, silver, and other precious metals from the sky, definitely takes the prize for becoming the most expensive spill accident so far.
Raining Silver and Gold
Earlier this week, gold and silver bricks along with other precious gems and metals fell out of a cargo plane while it was taking off from the runway in Yakutia, Russia. The accident happened immediately after the aircraft took off but luckily no one was hurt by the tons of gold and silver bricks which were left scattered on the runway. According to reports, the spillage included more than three tonnes of gold as well as other expensive metals over $300 million in total value.
So did anyone end up getting richer from the cascading shower of gold and diamonds? It’s highly unlikely since the spillage was confined to the secured runway and a search has already recovered most of the cargo that was dropped by the plane. The news was first reported by The Siberian Times, the local news agency for the area where the accident occurred.
Fault in the Aircraft?
The trouble began when the hatch doors ripped apart, leaving a gaping hole at the base of the plane for expensive cargo to slip through. Initially, unusual airflow was thought to be the cause of accident, but the speculations quickly shifted to the weight imbalance brought about by the shifting of cargo to the rear end of the plane after it took off.
News report from Tass suggests that the staff failed to secure the cargo properly which caused the unfortunate malfunctioning of the aircraft. However, a statement made by the Yakutsk Airport revealed that all safety protocols were met by the staff and necessary documentations signed and filed before the takeoff.
After the hatch doors came undone, an emergency was declared and the plane was directed to make an unplanned landing on an airport 18 miles away from its take-off location.
Cargo Belonged to a Russian Mining Company
Photos and videos of the aftermath show the exact state of the cargo plane and the damage caused on the runway due to the spilled cargo. The airport quickly shut down the entire runway to prevent a literal gold rush, and only police authorities were allowed to search the area in order to recover the missing goods. It is hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the accident, but the photos reveal the seriousness of the accident which could have potentially resulted in casualties had immediate action not been taken.
Wondering whom the precious cargo worth $363 million belonged to? If you thought that it was the billionaire Russian President who ordered the transportation of the gems to a secure location, you’re wrong. The goods actually belonged to a mining company called Chukotka which had used expensive resources to extract the precious metals from the ground and were flying them out to an international bank vault. Let’s hope that the company has an insurance policy to claim damages, in case some of the cargo is not recovered.
It wasn’t just the gold bricks and precious metals which rained from the sky after the plane took off, the heavy hatch doors also fell to the ground, but luckily, no one was injured from the dangerous cascading shower. However, the incident served as a lesson for the airport to secure the cargo properly before takeoff – especially if the goods on the plane consist of millions of dollars worth in gold, diamonds, and silver.