MINE MAGNATE KILLED: Chopper crashed ‘on way to hospital’
West Virginia coal tycoon Chris Cline was rushing his 22-year-old daughter to a Florida hospital for a medical emergency when their helicopter plunged into the Bahamian sea, according to a report.
Kameron Cline, 22, began experiencing the unspecified medical issue while attending her dad's birthday party on his private island near Grand Cay, a friend of the family's, Lauree Simmons, said.
Relatives called authorities when the chopper failed to reach Fort Lauderdale, Delvin Major, chief of the Bahamian Air Accident Investigation Department, told the Palm Beach Post.
A major Republican donor worth $1.8 billion, according to Forbes, Cline was on board the chopper with Kameron and several of her friends when it dropped into the Atlantic Ocean minutes after taking off around 2am, New York Post reports.
Cline, who started working in the West Virginia mines at the age of 15 before building his own empire, died a day before his 61st birthday.
The wreckage was discovered on the ocean floor about two miles off the coast of Cline's private island.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Meteorologists have said weather was not a factor.
President Trump on Friday offered his "deepest sympathies" to the family.
"My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of great businessman and energy expert Chris Cline, his wonderful daughter, Kameron, and their friends, on the tragic accident which took place in the Bahamas. The great people of West Virginia will never forget them!" Trump wrote in the tweet.
In a statement, the Cline family said: "We are all so deeply saddened to announce the deaths of our beloved father Chris and our sister Kameron".
"This loss will be felt by all those who had the privilege of having known them."
This article has been edited and republished from the New York Post with permission.