A Qatari official said "between 400 and 500" migrant workers died during construction projects connected to the ongoing 2022 World Cup.
The estimate is markedly higher than previously reported numbers of fatalities connected to the more than $200 billion spent on stadiums, subway lines and other infrastructure needs.
The numbers came from Hassan Al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan.
"The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500," Al-Thawadi told Morgan. "I don't have the exact number. That's something that's been discussed."
A Qatari Supreme Committee spokesman released a statement on Tuesday that "there were 3 work-related deaths and 37 non-work related deaths connected to the 8 stadiums, 17 non-competition venues and other related sites under the SC's scope.
"Separate quotes regarding figures refer to national statistics covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities (414) nationwide in Qatar, covering all sectors and nationalities."
The World Cup, the first one ever staged in the Middle East, opened on Nov. 20 and runs through Dec. 18.
"One death is a death too many -- plain and simple," Al-Thawadi told Morgan.