Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:41PM
Rescue teams search for the bodies of miners killed in a landslide in a jade mining area in Hpakhant, in Myanmar's Kachin state on November 25, 2015. (Photo by AFP)
Rescue teams search for the bodies of miners killed in a landslide in a jade mining area in Hpakhant, in Myanmar's Kachin state on November 25, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

At least six people have been confirmed dead in a landslide that hit a jade mining region in northern Myanmar.

Dut La, a church deacon, who is organizing funerals for the victims, said Wednesday that six bodies were retrieved and sent to a morgue since the slide occurred Monday afternoon in Kachin state's Hpakant mining region.  

The deacon also noted that more than a dozen may have not been recovered from the accident in the affected region yet.

"We are going to bury them today. Some family members showed up but some didn't and we cannot wait for them anymore," the deacon said, adding, "There are a dozen more possibly buried under the debris but it's quite difficult to take the bodies out because it's too dangerous."

Kachin, around 950 kilometers (600 miles) northeast of Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, is home to some of the world’s highest-quality jade.

Landslides are common in Hpakant, where as much as 90 percent of the world’s jade is mined.

In November 2015, a similar landslide hit the same area, killing more than 100 people in the worst such disaster in recent memory.

Dozens more were killed throughout the last year in smaller accidents.

Rescue workers are pictured at the site of a landslide on December 26, 2015 in Hpakant, Kachin state, Myanmar. (AFP photo)

Many of those killed are poor workers that hope to stumble across a previously missed hunk of precious stones or metals that will deliver them from poverty.

The industry generated an estimated USD 31 billion in 2014, with most of the wealth going to individuals and companies tied to Myanmar’s former military rulers.