(Reuters) – Coal tycoon and self-made billionaire Christopher Cline was amongst seven individuals who died in a helicopter crash on Thursday within the Bahamas, the Register-Herald of West Virginia reported, citing associates of Cline.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice confirmed Cline’s dying on Twitter however supplied no particulars on the way it occurred.
“As we speak we misplaced a WV famous person and I misplaced a really shut buddy. Our households return to the start of the Cline empire – Pioneer Gas. Chris Cline constructed an empire and each time was all the time there to present. What a beautiful, loving, and giving man,” Justice stated.
“Cathy and I are praying for his household and all these concerned on this tragedy,” Justice stated.
All seven aboard the helicopter have been killed and among the many lifeless was considered one of Cline’s daughters, the Register-Herald stated, citing unnamed associates of Cline.
The helicopter went down shortly after takeoff within the Atlantic Ocean early Thursday close to Walker’s Cay, the northernmost island within the Bahamas, BNO Information stated, citing unspecified U.S. and Bahamian officers.
A submerged helicopter with seven aboard had been discovered close to Walker’s Cay, the Register-Herald stated, citing Nassau authorities.
Forbes listed Cline number one,281 on its billionaires checklist with an estimated web price of $1.eight billion, itemizing him as self-made.
Cline began working within the coal mines at age 15 and later dropped out of Marshall College, Forbes stated.
A significant enterprise breakthrough got here within the early 2000s when he purchased up high-sulfur coal reserves in Illinois, playing that improved know-how would make it extra economical to burn soiled gas, Forbes stated.
“He took coal mining agency Foresight Vitality public in 2014, and offered a controlling stake in 2015 for $1.four billion money,” Forbes stated.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Enhancing by Michael Perry