By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES, May 29 (Reuters) - A Disneyland employee has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a destructive device following a small explosion in a trash can at the California theme park on Tuesday that prompted the evacuation of Mickey’s Toontown, police said on Wednesday.
Christian Barnes, identified as a 22-year-old outdoor vending cast member at Walt Disney Co’s Disneyland, was being held on $1 million bail, Sergeant Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department said in a statement.
“Barnes is cooperating with investigators and has indicated that this is an isolated incident with unanticipated impacts,” Dunn said.
Dunn said a police search of the area where the explosion occurred turned up evidence of a dry ice explosion. A Disneyland spokeswoman, Suzi Brown, said the incident appears to have been a prank and the theme park was working closely with local authorities.
She said the company was considering whether to suspend or terminate Barnes.
The small explosion in a trash can, shortly before 5:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday, prompted the evacuation of Mickey’s Toontown, a theme area where children can visit the cartoon-style homes of Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters.
Visitors were allowed to return about two hours later after police cleared the scene. There were no reports of damage or injury.
Dunn said that Anaheim police officers assisted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad searched the trash can and found remnants of a water bottle, which he said was indicative of a dry ice explosion.
Dunn said that Barnes, of Long Beach, California, was booked into the Anaheim Police Department on suspicion of possessing a destructive device.
Disneyland, located in Anaheim some 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles, is Disney’s original theme park and one of the nation’s top tourist draws.
The 57-year-old park attracted more than 16 million visitors in 2011, the most recent year statistics were available, according to trade group Themed Entertainment Association.