Coal Billionaire Chris Cline Dead in helicopter crash

Chris Cline, the billionaire mining entrepreneur and coal tycoon and benefactor to southern West Virginia, and a reported six others died in a helicopter crash Thursday in the waters off the coast of the Bahamas, friends of Cline reported to The Register-Herald on Thursday afternoon.

The Register-Herald has not yet confirmed the report with authorities.

Friends identified the deceased as Cline’s daughter, David Jude, two young adults from Beckley, unidentified friends and an unidentified helicopter mechanic from Florida.

The helicopter was en route to Fort Lauderdale from the Bahamas, when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, Cline’s friends in Beckley reported.

This is a developing story.