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Electrical explosion at Google datacenter injures three

Search, Maps and YouTube later suffer brief outages - nothing as concerning as the injuries suffered by workers

Google's consumer-facing and advertising services have faltered after an incident at one of its major datacenters.

KETV Omaha reports that Google's datacenter in nearby Council Bluffs, Iowa experienced an electrical incident just before noon Monday local time and that three electricians were critically injured.

A Twitter account that claims to scan local police and fire department radio traffic also reported the incident as follows:

Google has acknowledged the incident and issued a statement in which it says the three injured people are being treated and that an investigation is under way.

The incident appears to have been followed, hours later, by reports of disruption to some Google services. Users have complained that Google Search has not been available, and Gmail has proven unreliable. reported increased reports of outages at a few hours after the time KETV says the explosion occurred. Google's status pages, however, report no disruptions.

That may be because Google's status pages focus on its paid products – such as its Cloud and Workspaces productivity suite.

Outages appear not to have lasted more than a few minutes, but were felt around the world.

It is unknown if the explosion and the outages were linked, but if operations at Google's Iowa datacenter were impacted and Google re-directed users to other facilities, it may have taken some time for traffic diversions to kick in. Even Google can't arrange for instant network announcements to reach the many, many, pieces of infrastructure involved in bringing users to its properties. ®

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