Blast victim fiancee: Proof of mine co. fake files

June 28, 2011 - 10:59 PM

BEAVER, W.Va. (AP) — The fiancee of one of 29 miners killed a West Virginia mine explosion says federal investigators have proof that Massey Energy kept fake safety records for government inspectors.

Bobbie Pauley says investigators on Tuesday showed families samples of official records alongside internal documents. Pauley's fiance, Howard "Boone" Payne, died in the April 5, 2010 blast.

Pauley and other relatives say federal Mine Safety and Health Administration officials revealed few other new details during a private briefing.

They say investigators still believe the explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine started with a small methane gas ignition fueled by coal dust. An independent investigation commissioned by former Gov. Joe Manchin reached the same conclusion last month.

They say they're frustrated that a final report won't come until October.