The Disneyland explosion on Tuesday afternoon did not result in any injuries. However, “the dry-ice device appeared similar to other devices that have exploded in Anaheim neighborhoods in recent months,” said Sgt. Bob Dunn of the Anaheim Police Department according to a Los Angeles Times report on May 28, 2013.
At about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, a report of an explosion at Disneyland’s Toontown prompted the evacuation of that part of Disneyland. Other parts of Disneyland remained open and Toontown was opened again to the public around 8 p.m. No one had been injured.
A bomb squad from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department responded to the report of an explosion at Disneyland and found that the explosion had occurred in a trash can.
The Disneyland explosion was apparently set off by a plastic water bottle with dry ice.
While officers were gathering evidence on the scene and Disneyland officials were reviewing surveillance cameras, authorities are trying to determine whether the dry ice bomb was an isolated incident or part of several incidents that have occurred in Anaheim neighborhoods during the past few months.
A dry ice bomb is one of the simplest explosive devices and easy to make. However, dry ice bombs can be unpredictable and dangerous.
Dry ice is very cold with a temperature of -109.3 Fahrenheit ( -78.5 Celsius). When a dry ice bomb explodes, shards of dry ice that had not sublimed can cause injuries to anyone that happens to be too close to the dry ice bomb.
In addition to the dry ice shards, fragments from the container in which the dry ice bomb was placed might be propelled into the air at high speeds causing cuts and puncture wounds. Nails, marbles, and metal fragments can cause blunt force trauma to a person, especially young children.
Children are also vulnerable to the loud explosion.
While Tuesday’s Disneyland explosion might have been intended to create some special visual and sound effects for children and not harm them, the fact that this is not the first dry ice bomb in Los Angeles during the recent months might be of some concern.
According to California’s Penal Code “CAL. PEN. CODE § 12301: California Code – Section 12301, (6)” a dry ice bomb is listed as a “destructive device” and as a potential weapon.
“Any sealed device containing dry ice (CO2) or other chemically reactive substances assembled for the purpose of causing an explosion by a chemical reaction.”
In April of 2006, two San Diego honors students were facing felony charges after setting off dry ice bombs outside a school employee’s home. While the students intended for the dry ice bombs to just be a prank, prosecutors pointed out that dry ice bombs are not a prank and against California law.
“Not only can these go off and injure people who are making them, but they are completely unpredictable, and they can go off at any time. They don’t discriminate. They can go off and injure children. They can go off and injure pedestrians. They could have injured the victim in this case very severely,” said Deputy District Attorney Chandra Carle in 2006.
With the summer months coming and more and more children going to sightseeing places in Los Angeles, it would be nice if Los Angeles and the Anaheim Police Department would provide the public with more information in addition to the Disneyland explosion about when and where those previous dry ice bomb explosions occurred – not to spread fear but awareness.