3 Companies Face $500K In Fines Over Sylmar Explosion

SYLMAR (CBS) — Three companies were hit with fines totaling more than $500,000 in connection with the Aug. 9 explosion in Sylmar that severely injured two people, according to Cal/OSHA.

Two men, 42-year-old Timothy Larson and 66-year-old William Stehl, were injured while preparing equipment for a sales demonstration promoting an experimental fuel when a cylinder holding gas exploded because it was being handled in a “non-intrinsically safe work area.”

Larson lost his arm and leg in the blast.

The three companies cited were Realm Catalyst, Rainbow of Hope Foundation – which is owned by Larson — and Strategic Sciences, Inc.

Realm Catalyst faces $239,800 in proposed penalties. Rainbow of Hope faces penalties of $329,625.

Strategic Sciences was cited for eight alleged violations, with $61,465 in proposed penalties.

The citations were issued on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 and companies have 15 days to appeal.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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