The mission to retrieve the bodies of illegal miners trapped at Eldorado Mine in Chinhoyi has been abandoned and the mine has been sealed off.

Government officials said the mission had proved impossible. The mine is said to be so unsafe that it poses grave dangers to rescue teams.

Mashonaland West Provincial Mines Director Sibongumuhle Mpindiwa said in view of the challenges related to access to the scene, the accident point will be sealed off.

Between 12 and 14 illegal miners were reportedly trapped at the mine last week but only one body was retrieved. Families of those suspected to be trapped have been informed of the decision to seal off the scene of the accident.