2 African seasonal workers dead in Italian fire

MILAN — Italian police are investigating the cause of a fire that swept through a makeshift camp for seasonal workers in southern Italy, killing two Africans.

Authorities said Friday the fire broke out overnight in the encampment in the countryside near Foggia, in the Puglia region, that was in the process of being dismantled. The flames quickly engulfed hundreds of structures made out of wood, plastic and cardboard.

Authorities had begun tearing down the camp a day earlier, displacing 150 to 200 seasonal agriculture workers who had been living there.

Police said the two who died evidently had re-entered the camp unobserved overnight. Police are investigating both arson and accidental causes.

The USB labor union said the deadly fire was the result of exploitative labor practices that have persisted for decades.

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