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Russian plane loses load of gold, platinum and diamonds

By
Ben Hooper

March 15 (UPI) -- A plane's cargo ramp was damaged during takeoff in Russia, causing gold, platinum and diamonds to be spread from the runway to up to 16 miles from the airport.

The Investigative Committee of Russia said the Nimbus Airlines AN-12 cargo plane was carrying $378 million worth of gold, platinum and diamonds when it took off from Yakutsk airport on Thursday.

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The plane's cargo ramp was somehow damaged during takeoff, causing gold to litter the runway and precious materials to rain down behind the vehicle for up to 16 miles before the plane made an emergency landing in Magan.

The gold and other materials being carried by the plane belonged to the Chukota Mining and Geological company a private company 75 percent owned by Canadian Kinross Gold.

Police cordoned off the airport's runway and authorities began a search of the grounds and the plane's path to recover the missing materials.

Investigators said they have detained the technical engineers who prepared the plane for takeoff.

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