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Siberian gold rush ensues after $368 billion in bars tumble from plane

<a href="">Rachel Koning Beals</a>

Locals aren’t quite believing an official statement that all the precious metal and stones have been collected


Temperatures near negative 24 degrees celsius in Yakutia, the coldest region in Russia, are not putting off would-be treasure hunters who literally saw gold fall from the sky on Thursday.

A nine-ton treasure of gold and silver alloy called doré bars fell from the back of an AN-12 cargo plane flying from Yakutsk to Krasnoyarsk in an area largely at and around the airport, the Siberian Times reported. The cargo was reportedly not secured properly and pressed on the hatch, which gave way.


The company that owns the bars has announced a full recovery, according to the paper, although the whereabouts of diamonds and platinum originally reported as part of the cargo remains unclear.

Trusted employees were assigned to collect the gold and silver bars. On their way home, they were forced to go through metal detectors. Police also searched cars, according to the Siberian Times. Nevertheless, many locals wanted to confirm for themselves if the lost cargo had been entirely collected. It was reported that all flights to Yakutsk are overbooked as people join the rush.

Gold is worth a little over $1,300 an ounce these days. In fact, April gold (XCEC:GCJ8) was staging a mild recovery early Friday after the contract settled at $1,317.80 an ounce Thursday, marking its lowest finish since March 1 and on track to finish the week slightly in negative territory.

Mark Hulbert:Gold’s glitter depends on investors making this big sentiment shift

Rachel Koning Beals is a MarketWatch news editor in Chicago.

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