According to the Orange County Register, a pipe bomb was detonated near Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in the early afternoon Easter Sunday. The explosive device detonated in and alley on the 600 block of North Anaheim Boulevard, only three miles away from the theme park. Anaheim police were notified of the blast at around 1:50 p.m. by someone calling to report a transformer explosion. When responding officers discovered evidence of a pipe bomb explosion, they notified the Orange County Bomb Squad. The bomb squad evacuated residents of the area while they looked for other devices and gathered evidence. The evacuation lasted until 3:00 p.m.
The bomb detonated with such force that one of the end caps blew a perfectly circular hole through a wooden fence that was about 40 feet away from the explosion. Damage in the immediate area of the blast was minimized due to the end cap giving way. A light pole and concrete wall behind the pole only received minor charring.
— Report UK (@ReportUK) March 28, 2016
The explosion is the second incident that has occurred in the area. According to Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt, a similar device was found back in December, also placed at the base of a light pole, which the bomb squad detonated. This bomb, however, was detonated by whoever placed it.
The explosion was loud enough that it was unmistakably not from a gunshot. Tammy Farrell, 46, and fiancé Brent Wechsler, 44, who live next door to the alley, spoke with OCR.
“I thought something actually fell from the sky, from like an airplane, because it was so loud… Some individual that is seriously disturbed is all I can think about. All of my neighbors, they are all good people. There’s no purpose for this to take place at all. It doesn’t frighten me. It’s just really, really strange.”
While the bomb detonation did not seem to scare Farrell and Wechsler, who were in closer proximity to it, others in the area were shaken.
CALIFORNIA: A small pipe bomb exploded in an alley near Disneyland Park yesterday. no injuries were reported. PHOTOS pic.twitter.com/tb3OnMZQmR
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) March 28, 2016
CBS Los Angeles spoke with Anna Trujillo, an employee of a nearby car dealership, who said, “It was too loud to be a shot so we were like, ‘It has to be a bomb.’ And then we see all the white smoke coming out. I was scared.”
Sergeant Wyatt expressed concern over the incident saying, “It’s serious – especially on Easter Sunday with people gathering. It’s very fortunate that there wasn’t someone in the alley that was injured.”
While the bomb detonation does not seem to have officials concerned about the safety at Disneyland, speculation has already begun circulating the blogosphere regarding the incident’s proximity to the heavily visited theme park.
According to the blog Disney Leaks, the explosion may have been a test in preparation for a larger attack on Disneyland. The blog suggests that someone they label the Ana-Bomber may have been responsible for this and three other pipe bomb incidents in Anaheim within the last five months.
One incident, previously mentioned, was the bomb that was detonated by the bomb squad last December. The second was one that was found in the parking lot of a Lowe’s Home Improvement in November. That device was also detonated by a bomb squad robot. The third was a hoax bomb left in a bank by a robbery suspect last Friday.
— Larry MacDonald (@WC_Larry) February 5, 2016
Disney Leaks suggests that the four incidents could all be related to a planned attack on Disneyland.
They state that police, the theme park, and federal law enforcement should all be “on high alert as a coordinated terrorist attack against a high-profile, soft target, likethe [sic] Disneyland Resort, by a ‘not so JV’ terrorist organization like ISIS can prove to be very devastating.”
Comparing Sunday’s explosion and the incident at the bank, Sergeant Wyatt said, “… this is completely unrelated. The mechanics are different.”
It was not reported whether he felt there was a connection to either of the other two incidents.
Police are actively seeking leads to who may have placed and created the device. They urge anyone who may have seen anything related to the bomb’s detonation to call 855-TIP-OCCS.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]