Investigations

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Owner of California Composites Manufacturing Company Sentenced for Unlawful Transportation and Distribution of Substandard Compressed Gas Cylinders

On May 18, Krishna Lal Agrawal, owner and chief engineer of Global Composites International, Inc. (GCI), Ontario, CA, was sentenced in U. S. District Court in Los Angeles to pay $9,073 in fines and restitution for violating the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and ordered to serve 36 months probation (with the first 10 months as home confinement). GCI produced compressed gas cylinders, which required hydrostatic testing before sale to determine that cylinder walls were sufficiently strong. Substandard compressed gas cylinders pose a public health danger from possible rupture/explosion. In August 2005, Agrawal pled guilty, admitting to causing the transportation and distribution of 110 gas cylinders that were marked as having been properly tested, when in fact they had not been. PHMSA suspended GCI's exemption and manufacturer authorization, and has issued a safety advisory notice to the public. This was a joint investigation with the FBI, with assistance from PHMSA.