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Billionaire Coal Executive Chris Cline, 6 Others Killed in Bahamas Helicopter Crash

A billionaire coal tycoon, one of his daughters, some of his friends and the pilot were killed

West Virginia coal executive Chris Cline and six others died Thursday after a helicopter carrying the seven Americans to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, crashed off Grand Cay island in the Bahamas.

Cline's attorney Brian Glasser told NBC News that one of Cline's daughters, the helicopter's pilot and friends of Cline were also among those killed.

A statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force said the helicopter went missing shortly after leaving Big Grand Cay and authorities and local residents later found the crash site two miles off Grand Cay.

Earlier, the Register-Herald newspaper in Beckley, West Virginia, quoted Gov. Jim Justice as saying that one of the people killed in the crash was Chris Cline, whom the newspaper described as a "billionaire mining entrepreneur," ''coal tycoon" and "benefactor to southern West Virginia."

"West Virginia lost a super star, without any question," the newspaper quoted Justice as saying. "A giving, good man. I just love him with all my soul. ... As governor, I will tell you we've lost a great West Virginian."

Bahamian police did not provide a cause of the crash but said an investigation with civil aviation authorities was underway.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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