PHMSA orders companies to cease transportation of experimental gas linked to explosions

By Vickie Buchanan

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an order finding California-based companies Strategic Sciences, Inc., Realm Industries, and Rainbow of Hope to be imminent hazards and prohibiting these companies and Timothy A. Larsen from any transportation of the experimental gas known as Tylar.

PHMSA conducted an investigation into the cause of several explosions and discovered that Tylar has been involved in each instance. Most recently, an explosion involving Tylar gas occurred in Sylmar, California, on August 9, 2011. PHMSA investigators learned that a shipment of Tylar was placed into transportation in DOT-approved 3AA cylinders just prior to the explosion. The explosion injured three people and caused massive property damage to a production facility. Other explosions involving the transportation of Tylar gas occurred on June 17, 2010, which resulted in one fatality, and on December 15, 2008, which resulted in significant property damage.

As a result of these incidents, PHMSA has determined that Tylar is an imminent hazard to the public health, property and the environment. The exact composition and properties of Tylar gas has not been released.