Local media said all the dead came from north Africa and had been returning home after spending the day working in the fields in the province of Foggia, close to the Adriatic Sea.

Pictures from the scene showed a white minivan flipped on its roof and lying in the middle of the road following a head-on collision with a lorry that had been carrying flour.

The accident happened two days after four African migrants died in a similar crash in the same region.

Thousands of migrants work in the Italian agriculture sector, harvesting fruit and vegetables for often only a few euros an hour.