A task force will investigate the cause of Saturday's devastating gas leak in a coal mine shaft in Henan , which killed 37 miners and embarrassed the government. It will be led by Luo Lin, director of the State Administration of Work Safety; his deputy, Zhao Tiechui ; provincial vice-governor Shi Jichun; and also the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The aim is to find the cause of the accident, assign responsibility and suggest how similar accidents can be prevented. Luo said although the investigation would determine the exact cause, an initial investigation found 'serious safety regulation loopholes' that suggest the coal mine's management 'has not learned a profound lesson', as prevention measures for gas in the mine 'were not carried out thoroughly'. 'This accident was caused by [operation] without regulation,' he said. The deadly incident was an embarrassment to Beijing as it took place only days after extensive media coverage on the mainland about the successful rescue of 33 Chilean miners. An offer of help by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera sparked an outcry among mainland internet users who compared the rescue efforts of the two countries. Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang ordered the thorough investigation and serious punishment of those responsible. Xinhua said yesterday that rescuers uncovered the last five bodies trapped underground. Rescuers had said there was little chance of any missing miners being found alive. The disaster was the deadliest since a blast at a pit in Pingdingshan, also in Henan, in June killed 48 workers in the country's deadliest coal mining accident this year. More than 173,500 cubic metres of deadly gas rushed out, creating 2,500 tonnes of coal dust in the mine pit. The dust blocked 170 metres of passageways, causing flammable gases to accumulate. A total of 276 miners were underground, but 239 escaped. The cause of most deaths is believed to be suffocation. A similar gas leak occurred at the same coal mine in August two years ago, which killed 23 people. The Beijing News quoted an unidentified coal mine employee as saying that underground workers found overly dense gas 22 hours before the accident occurred and reported this to a co-ordination room, but got no response. The employee said a monitor spotted a device that detected a higher level of gas than safety standards allowed and reported that to a higher level of management. But the monitor no longer had the authority to evacuate workers. They lost that authority just before the previous tragedy two years ago. Luo said those criminally responsible would be handed over to police and given the maximum punishment the law and regulations allow.