A coal magnate is reportedly among seven Americans killed in a helicopter crash Thursday off Grand Cay Island in the Bahamas.
The helicopter was headed toward Fort Lauderdale, Fla., The Associated Press reported, citing Bahamian police.
Friends and family said one of the people killed was coal tycoon Chris Cline, according to The Register-Herald, a newspaper in West Virginia. Cline was a billionaire mining entrepreneur and philanthropist, according to the paper.
The state’s governor Jim Justice (R) tweeted about Cline’s reported death on Thursday.
“Today we lost a WV superstar and I lost a very close friend,” he wrote. “Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give.”
Today we lost a WV superstar and I lost a very close friend. Our families go back to the beginning of the Cline empire – Pioneer Fuel. Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give. What a wonderful, loving, and giving man.
— Governor Jim Justice (@WVGovernor) July 5, 2019
A Royal Bahamas Police Force statement said that the helicopter went missing after leaving Big Grand Cay and that the crash site was later found two miles away, according to the AP. Authorities said that four women and three men were killed, but did not give release names.
Authorities did not give a reason for the crash but said that an investigation ongoing, according to the AP.