24 bodies have been retrieved from the Battlefields Mine disaster as rescue operations continue to search for survivors.

They have laboured for 24 hours and the fatigue is showing but they are racing against time as their colleagues are trapped precariously in the waters below these shafts.

They worry about the fate of their colleagues many of whom they barely said goodbye less than 96 hours ago.

Their hope has, however, been dealt a major blow after 24 bodies were confirmed drowned casting a deep sense of sorrow on this community.

Hope had been revived by the eight individuals who came out alive in the morning rescue, but that has fast faded into a boulevard of broken expectations on news of the 24 recovered bodies, and there could be more, as rescue operations have been halted due to rising water levels.

Search teams continued work above ground despite the setback, but the relentless water flows are proving treacherous, prompting more pleas for help.

Silently friends and relatives are sending prayers, all in the hope of seeing their loved ones walking out alive.

Meanwhile, eight miners were rescued in the morning with the first survivor said to have been rescued at around 07:10 hours.

The eight rescued have since received medical attention and are in a stable condition.

Rescue operations are still continuing to retrieve the bodies of the remaining trapped miners.