Thirty-eight miners traveled down into a pair of mines Tuesday and so far, not one living survivor has been found.
Zimbabwean officials continue to search for miners after a gold mine outside the capital, Harare, flooded earlier this week.
"So far twenty-three people have been confirmed dead and fears are that more miners could have perished," police spokesperson Charity Charamba said.
"Rescue efforts are being hampered by the rise in water levels in the shafts," she said.
An abandoned gold mine flooded with water after a dam in Battlefields collapsed Tuesday night, trapping a host of miners who entered the vicinity illegally.
Wilson Gwatiringa, spokesman of mine owners, the RioZim company, said, “Most of the shafts are more than 20-metres deep and the water levels have been rising. We are currently in the process of pumping out water to rescue and search for more bodies.
"One of them is our mine which was no longer in operation. We are assisting on humanitarian grounds,” Gwatiringa said.
Police officials report that 38 miners traveled down into a pair of mines, the Silver Moon Mine and Cricket Mine. Despite their best efforts, the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has failed to rescue any victims and fear there will be no survivors. Water levels hover around 50 meters deep, said CPU Director Nathan Nkomo.
Although Zimbabwe’s platinum, diamond, gold, coal, and copper mines constitute a major part of the country’s economy, they are poorly regulated and are the site of dozens of tragic accidents every year.