The death toll at the mine currently stands at 18. Police estimate that about 22 people were underground.
"We are not sure if they are even still at the mine. They might have come out. Nobody knows. They might be too scared to tell us that they are around‚" said Elliot.
Some of those trapped underground were allegedly involved in stripping the non-operational mine of copper cables when the explosion occurred. Others went down the shaft after the blast in a bid to rescue those who had been trapped.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said 16 of the deceased had been identified by their next of kin as citizens of Lesotho. One of them was South African.
One body remains unclaimed and unidentified.