“A portion of the building caved in this morning following which we informed Muscat Municipality. Civic officials came in the evening and sealed the building which was built in 1974,” Ahmed Hidayatullah, the building's main caretaker, said.
A senior official from Muscat Municipality said the building's owner and occupants were issued eviction notices earlier due to safety concerns.
When repeated warnings did not yield results, the municipality was forced to take action, the official said. Hidayatullah confirmed that the building's owner had served eviction notices to occupants and shop owners but no one acted on them.
Also, adding to the risk is a sub-station (No 4 Walja area) installed by Muscat Electricity Distribution Company (MEDC) at the building's entrance.
In another development, 17 shops selling foodstuff were recently ordered shut by Muscat Municipality's inspection teams. The teams inspected 781 shops across Muscat governorate and also issued notices to 169 shops and fined several others for not adhering to health and hygiene norms.
A team inspecting Mawaleh Central Market disposed of about 25 cartons of potatoes with moulds and 17 cartons of black grapes with fungi. The municipality has called on citizens to report such matters on 1111.