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Chinese Official Warns Mine's Bosses to Prepare for Major Probe

Chinese safety officials have called for a thorough investigation into the flooding of a mine, in which 153 miners were trapped for more than week. The first bodies were recovered Tuesday, following the dramatic rescue of 115 miners on Monday.

Following the jubilation about the saving of 115 miners, Tuesday's recovery effort was carried out in a somber mood, as the first bodies of the missing 38 miners were recovered from the flooded mine in north China's Shanxi Province.

Five bodies were brought to surface and 33 remain missing at the Wangjialing Coal Mine, which is considered a modern facility.

Although rescuers scrambled around the clock to bring about what officials describe as a "miracle" to prevent the disaster becoming one of the county's worst, the spotlight is once again on China's mining the industry - considered the most deadly in the world.

Shanxi Safety and Administration Bureau Chief Engineer Liu Dezheng is warning the mine's bosses to prepare for a major probe into the incident.

Many are asking why warnings given to the owners about water leaking into the shaft were ignored.

Liu is calling on the mine's owners to provide what he described as real technical data and basic information.

Some 3,000 rescuers dug and pumped water for seven days to reach the miners. The first survivors were brought to the surface shortly after midnight, Monday.

They survived in air pockets in the pitch dark and said they ate bark from the wooden supports.

Some took small sips of the dank and dirty water that surrounded them.

Although praise has been heaped on the rescue effort, many questions are being asked as to why China's booming coal mining industry remains so dangerous.

The country's super-active economic machine results in coal remaining in great demand and many mine owners push aside safety concerns to meet demand and make money.

The government has clamped down on illegal mines and claims it has prevented many deaths.

According to official figures, 2,631 coal miners died in 1,616 mine accidents in China in 2009 - down 18 percent from the previous year.