A small group of Russian fishermen have discovered some 248 human fetuses dumped in a forest near the Ural Mountains 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of the city of Yekaterinburg.

Police reports said the fetuses were preserved with formaldehyde and placed in plastic barrels, and government officials suggested they came from multiple medical facilities in one of the region's larger cities, though it would have been a single company responsible for disposing of the remains.

It seems the company responsible for disposal of the biomedical waste did not carry out its duties, the deputy head of the regional government Vladimir Vlasov said on state television, adding that investigators would find those responsible and they would be punished.

The remains are currently being kept in a morgue in the nearby town of Nevyansk for further examination as investigators try to determine what company was responsible for disposing the fetuses.