LSU grads among 7 killed in helicopter crash

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The friends of Cline told The Register-Herald the helicopter was en route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from the Bahamas as someone on board had fallen sick when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force said it was notified at 2:53 p.m. on Thursday that a helicopter had failed to arrive at its destination. The victims included three men and four women, according to the Associated Press.

West Virginia billionaire and philanthropist Chris Cline died in a helicopter crash off the Bahamas, confirmed Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

"West Virginia lost a super star, without any question", the newspaper quoted Justice as saying. "What a wonderful, loving, and giving man", Justice tweeted. "Chris was [an] exceptional human being and we all loved him so much".

According to media reports, Cline's mansion in Beckley, West Virginia, featured a lake, a go-kart track, as well as land for horses, goats and llamas.

"Initial reports are coming in that a helicopter departed, I think it's a cay near to Walker's Cay, at 2 a.m. [EDT] and I guess shortly after takeoff it crashed", Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D'Aguilar said.

A Facebook profile for a Delaney Wykle who lived in West Virginia and was friends with Cline's daughters says she was a student at West Virginia University. Among the people reportedly killed in the crash were Cline's daughter - Kamie Conover - David Jude, Delaney Wykle, two unidentified friends of the family and an unidentified helicopter mechanic from Florida.

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When he thought mining in the Appalachian region was drying up, he started buying reserves in the Illinois Basin in what turned out to be a smart investment in high sulfur coal, according to the website of Missouri-based Foresight Energy, a company he formed.

The death of the 60-year-old magnate led to eulogies from industry leaders, government officials and academics, who described Cline as a visionary who was generous with his $1.8 billion fortune.

A submerged helicopter with seven aboard had been found near Walker's Cay, the Register-Herald said, citing Nassau authorities.

Chris Cline's attorney tweeted that his client never forgot his humble roots despite amassing tremendous wealth. His life's story was one of hard work, love of family and caring support for others.

Cline took a special philanthropic interest in his home state of West Virginia.

Marshall University, which Cline attended, named its athletic complex after him following a $5 million donation to the school. "Chris's generosity to our research and athletics programs has made a mark on Marshall University and our students for many years to come". "'I am praying for his family'".