Bahamas: WV billionaire among 7 dead in helicopter crash

West Virginia mining entrepreneur Chris Cline among dead

Andrew Harrwe/Bloomberg via Getty via CNN

West Virginia coal billionaire and philanthropist Chris Cline 

NASSAU, Bahamas - Aviation safety investigators in the Bahamas are working to determine the cause of a helicopter crash that killed seven Americans.

None of the bodies recovered from the downed helicopter have been identified, but police Supt. Shanta Knowles told The Associated Press on Friday that the missing-aircraft report from Florida said billionaire Chris Cline was on board. She said the group of Americans from Big Grand Cay failed to arrive as expected in Fort Lauderdale. Cline was a billionaire coal tycoon and has been major donor to Republican politicians.

Jaime Nixon is an aviation safety analyst for the Air Accident Investigation Department of the Bahamas. She said a specialized ship was coming from Florida with equipment to pull the helicopter from the water.

The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority told the Federal Aviation Administration that the Augusta AW139 helicopter was located in the water at about 7 p.m. on Thursday.

A cause of the crash is not known but police in the Bahams said civilian aviation authorities on the island have launched an investigation.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.