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A fisherman found four plastic barrels holding 248 human fetuses in a forest in Russia's Ural Mountains, media and police said on Tuesday.
Police launched an investigation after officials said the remains, discovered on Sunday, appeared to have come from three hospitals in Yekaterinburg, the capital of Sverdlovsk region.
"It seems the company responsible for disposal of the bio-medical waste did not carry out its duties," the deputy head of the regional government, Vladimir Vlasov, said on state television.
Photographs from the site showed fetuses with tags scrawled with numbers and inscriptions that Russian media said were family names.
"A friend called at night and said he went fishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire. He ran into some water canisters and wanted to take them home, but when he came closer he saw little baby bodies," local resident Sergei Tveritinov told state television.
(Reporting by Ludmila Danilova and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Steve Gutterman and Andrew Heavens)