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Coal Tycoon with Southern Illinois Mines Dies in Helicopter Crash

A West Virginia coal tycoon with ties to the Tri State died unexpectedly yesterday.  Chris Cline, self made billionaire and founder of Foresight Energy, along with his daughter died when a helicopter they were in crashed off the coast of Nassau in the Bahamas.  Cline had more than 35 years in the coal mining industry and Forbes recently had Cline listed as number 1,281 on it’s billionaires list giving him an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion dollars.  Cline launched his career in the coal industry at the age of 22 back in 1980.  In 2004, Cline began permitting the Pond Creek Mine in Williamson County.  In addition, Cline began operations at Sugar Camp in the Thompsonville/Akin/Macedonia area back in 2008.