China View reported the incident happened at about 6am local time yesterday, with all six casualties suffocated after their homes filled with mud and debris from the mine.
Seventeen others were seriously injured in the accident, either from choking, cuts or crushing injuries after their homes were flooded.
The China View report said rescue efforts yesterday evening involved about 200 rescuers cleaning mud and tailings with bulldozers in search of missing people.
The Associated Press reported the dam is owned by the Dingyang Mining Company and ran along a hillside above the homes at the affected Xiangying village.
Villagers are reported to have seen a crack forming in the dam wall before it burst.
Originally the dam was used by an iron ore operation to store tailings but has since been used by the privately owned coal operation.