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Seven people including coal billionaire died in a helicopter crash near the Bahamas

West Virginia coal billionaire and philanthropist Chris Cline died in a helicopter crash near the Bahamas on Thursday. He was 60.

He started working as an underground miner in West Virginia in 1980 at age 22, and a decade later founded his energy development company. Foresight Energy generated coal sales revenues of $1.097 billion last fiscal year.  Police said a helicopter took off from Big Grand Cay around 2 a.m. Thursday and was reported missing around 2:50 p.m. when it didn't arrive in Fort Lauderdale. Seven people including Chris are  dead, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement Friday. In fact the aircraft overturned in 16 feet of water about two miles off Grand Cay in the Abacos. Evan Jenkins, a justice at the West Virginia Supreme Court, said the state has lost a philanthropist who donated to several programs. Cline’s daughter also may have been one of the seven passengers who died in the crash.

Chris-Cline

Police recovered the bodies of four females and three males. “Today we lost a WV superstar and I lost a very close friend,” West Virginia Governor Jim Justice tweeted.The Department of Civil Aviation, the Royal Bahamas Police and the Defense Force are investigating.

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