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Disneyland worker arrested in connection with explosion inside theme park

By Ed Payne and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW Christian Barnes, 22, was ordered held on $1 million bail, police say
  • NEW: At outdoor vendor at Disneyland, he calls the blast "isolated," add police
  • The explosion in a trash can in the park came from dry ice in a plastic bottle
  • There were no injuries or damage, but the park's Toontown was evacuated

(CNN) -- Disneyland employees are paid to serve up magic and memories -- but not like this.

A 22-year-old who works at the venerable Southern California theme park was arrested late Tuesday, hours after a small explosion in Mickey's Toontown section. The blast did not hurt anyone, but it did rattle nerves and prompt the evacuation of that part of the park for a few hours.

Anaheim police on Wednesday identified the suspect in the explosion as Christian Barnes, a Long Beach resident and an outdoor vendor at Disneyland. Booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Barnes is being held on $1 million bail.

"Barnes is cooperating with investigators and has indicated this is an isolated incident with unanticipated impacts," police said in a press release.

Disneyland worker arrested in explosion

It all stems from an incident around 5:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. ET) Tuesday, when people heard "a small bang" coming from a trash can in Toontown.

"Just a big boom and the trash can exploding ... the lid coming up ... people were at a standstill," Vanessa Vasquez told CNN affiliate KCBS. "It was kind of a little scary when I saw the whole area (look like a) ghost town."

Others said the sound is a rarity in the area.

"It was very tense at the moment it happened because you don't expect to hear that sound at Toontown," said Allen Wolf, another Disney visitor.

Sgt. Bob Dunn, from the Anaheim police, explained the noise came from a plastic bottle with dry ice that exploded. On its official Twitter account, Disneyland stated it caused "no injuries and no reported damage."

People were cleared from Toontown for about two hours as authorities investigated, though the rest of Disneyland remained open.

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CNN's Tina Burnside, Alta Spells and Henry Hank contributed to this report.

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