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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 22:33 GMT
Doomed miners' last notes found
A makeshift memorial for four of the miners at the Barbour County Court House in West Virginia
The mining accident is West Virginia's worst since 1968
A last note to loved ones by one of the 12 miners who died in a West Virginian mining accident has been made public.

Martin Toler, 51, a section foreman, wrote: "It wasn't bad. I just went to sleep. I love you".

Several notes were found by the victims in a tragedy made more poignant because relatives were led to believe for three hours the miners were still alive.

The sole survivor is showing some signs of improvement but is still in a critical condition, say his doctors.

Randal McCloy Jr, 26, was moved to a hospital in Pittsburgh on Thursday for intensive oxygen treatments to reduce his carbon monoxide levels.

Martin Toler, Jur, with his first grandchild Cole in a photo taken in 2001
Tell all I'll see them on the other side
Martin Toler's note

Dr Richard Shannon warned that his brain had been damaged and he was being kept in a medically-induced coma.

But his wife, Anna, told ABC's Good Morning America that her husband had responded to her and their three children.

"I know he knows I'm there because when I'm there, he gets excited," she said.

Martin Toler's nephew, Randy Toler, told CNN that he thought his uncle had left the note, "to set our minds at ease, that he didn't suffer".

The mine authorities say a number of notes were found by the miners, who were discovered behind a plastic curtain they had erected in a doomed attempt to block out the deadly carbon monoxide.

They were found more than 42 hours after a blast in the Sago Mine on Monday left the 13 miners trapped some two miles (3km) inside the mine.

One miner died almost immediately.

Poor communication led to widespread reports that the remaining 12 had been found alive.

Portion of infographic illustrating Sago mine blast and rescue attempts

Families of those trapped and millions around the world thought for three hours that all were safe, until the grim reality actually emerged.

International Coal Group, the company which owns the mine, expressed its deep regret for the miscommunication, but said it had wanted to be certain of their facts before making any announcements.

It is not yet known what caused West Virginia's worst mining disaster since 1968.

A full federal inquiry into the disaster has begun. An eight-person team, apppointed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, will also look into the communication breakdown.

The Sago Mine was cited for more than 40 alleged violations of federal mine health and safety rules during an 11-week review that ended in December, according to reports.

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