Investigators said they had not ruled out arson as a possible cause of
the blaze, which consumed sections of a shantytown known as the "Gran
Ghetto", usually home to about 350 people. The two victims were
identified as Mamadou Konate, 33, and Nouhou Doumbia, 36.
The fire is believed to have started at about 1am on Friday and
quickly engulfed part of the 5,000-sq-metre camp, in which workers
live in makeshift huts made of cardboard and plastic tarps.
The Italian news agency quoted a firefighter as saying arson had not
been excluded. Other investigators said they suspected the blaze could
have been started by a faulty portable stove, which may have been left
on as a source of heat.
Two other fires have broken out in the camp in recent years.
Authorities had ordered the clearing of the area on Wednesday but 100
workers remained in place, fearful that leaving would mean they would
lose their jobs.
The camp is home to migrant farm workers who often work under
slave-like conditions and are controlled by local organised crime
According to media reports, police and firefighters were at the scene
when the fire broke out, but it spread so quickly that the two victims
had too little time to escape the flames. The body of one of the men
was reportedly found charred and lying on a cot.
The exploitation of farm workers, usually poor refugees from Africa ,
has been a problem in Italy for decades. Michele Emiliano, the
president of Puglia, called the camp a "disgrace, which has grown out
of years of indifference".