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Coal Baron, Daughter Among 7 Killed in Helicopter Crash

Chris Cline founded coal empire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2019 8:00 AM CDT
In this Sept. 6, 2014 photo, Chris Cline speaks with media as Marshall University dedicates the new indoor practice facility as the Chris Cline Athletic Complex in Huntington, W.Va.   (Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)
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(Newser) – One of the nation's last coal barons was killed along with six other Americans in a helicopter crash off Grand Cay Island in the Bahamas Thursday, authorities say. West Virginia billionaire Chris Cline died along with his daughter, friends, and the pilot, his lawyer tells NBC. The Royal Bahamas Police Force says the helicopter went missing soon after it left Big Grand Cay en route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the AP reports. Residents later found the crash site around two miles away from the island. Authorities in the Bahamas say four men and three women, all believed to be US citizens, died in the crash. Civil aviation authorities are investigating the cause.

  • Empire: Cline, who started working in coal mines when he was 15, died a day before his 61st birthday, reports Forbes. He founded the Cline Group to extract coal in Appalachia in 1990, but he made his biggest splash through the company he founded in 2006, Foresight Energy, to expand into Illinois. He took it public in 2014. The magazine pegged his net worth at $1.8 billion.

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