The government of Qatar has banned the owners of construction companies from leaving the country, as it continues its investigation into structures damaged by recent heavy rains.
A statement from the official Qatar News Agency said, “owners of companies, contractors and consulting engineers” would be banned from traveling abroad until the end of the inquiry.
Qatar’s prime minister, Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, ordered the probe after the rain exposed construction flaws in major buildings, including Hamad International Airport.
QNA reported that five unnamed firms were initially under investigation.
In its statement, QNA said it was decided that “all concerned bodies and companies that implemented the projects, which the current rains and the weather conditions have revealed their flaws, must be referred to investigation and then to the Public Prosecution,”
Schools and shopping malls were closed as the oil-rich state saw some 80 mm of rain fall in 24 hours.
Videos posted on social media showed rain pouring through the roof of Doha’s US$ 17 billion Hamad International Airport.
During the rain, a section of ceiling collapsed at the Ezdan Mall, and Qatar’s Sheraton Hotel also suffered water seepage.
The statement form QNA said, "parties responsible for dereliction or negligence" would be held accountable.
Currently, amid complaints from human rights groups about the treatment of migrant workers, Qatar is under pressure to complete infrastructure projects totalling more than US$ 200 billion, ahead of its hosting of the Fifa World Cup in 2022.