Virginia: Coal tycoon Chris Cline is amongst the seven feared dead after the helicopter they were travelling in crashed off the coast of the Bahamas on Thursday.
The Governor of Virginia, Jim Justice, confirmed Cline's demise and tweeted, "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."
The 60-year-old businessman's friends told a Virginian daily, The Register-Herald, that one of the billionaire's daughters, David Jude, was also on board the helicopter which was found submerged near the Walker's Cay. The other passengers are said to be two young adults from Beckley, friends and a helicopter mechanic from Florida. Their identities have not been revealed.
The chopper was on its way to Fort Lauderdale from the Bahamas when the mishap occurred. "Initial reports are coming in that a helicopter departed, I think it's a cay near to Walker's Cay, at 2 am and I guess shortly after takeoff it crashed," a daily from the Bahamas, The Nassau Guardian, quoted its Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D'Aguilar, as saying. The death toll has not been confirmed yet.