A Plane Filled With $368M Worth of Gold Just Spilled a Bunch of it Mid-Flight

Most of us have all been on at least one flight from hell, whether it was packed with screaming babies or horrifying turbulence. Or, god forbid, involved a mad pooper. Though it's tough to imagine anyone having a worse day in the air than the pilots of a plane packed with nine tons of gold, diamonds, and platinum, which accidentally scattered a bunch of its cargo mid-flight on Thursday.

The incident, which occurred shortly after takeoff from the Russian city of Yakutsk in Siberia, involved a cargo plane belonging to the airline Nimbus that was headed to the city of Krasnoyarsk roughly five hours away. As the aircraft was gaining altitude, a door to its cargo hold broke off, spilling a whole bunch of the treasure down onto the runway and beyond for some 16 miles. And while you might want to believe this is some heist gone awry, it was allegedly a total accident. Evidently, damage to the door's handle caused it to bust open, per a report from the state "Investigative Committee" according to the Daily Mail.

The plane ended up making an emergency landing at another nearby airport and no one was hurt, but the search is on to recover the spilled gems and precious metals. As of now, they've retrieved 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tons, though it's unclear how much is still missing. If you're thinking it might be worth hopping the next jet to Siberia to search for yourself, just a heads up you'd be facing off against a whole army of police and secret services, who've swarmed the area to aid in the recovery effort. 

By now, you're probably wondering what the hell this plane was doing carrying so much precious loot, and whose it is. Well, it turns out it belongs to the Chukota Mining and Geological company and was eventually headed to Russia's Kupol gold mine, though its purposes beyond that aren't known. 

If you ever find yourself near Yakutsk, remember to keep your eyes peeled for shiny stuff on the ground.

h/t The Siberian Times, Daily Mail

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.
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