Explosion at Google data center seriously injures 3 people

Explosion at Google data center seriously injures 3 people

An explosion occurred at a Google data center in Iowa, leaving three people in critical condition with severe burns.

On Monday, August 8, 2022, a massive electrical explosion occurred at a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at a substation near the data center buildings. Most likely, the incident was caused by an arc flash that originated in an electrical cabinet. Three electricians were working with the equipment at the time and suffered severe burns.

Two injured victims with burns were taken to Nebraska Medical Center by ambulance for treatment, and one had to be evacuated there by helicopter. According to police and news reports, the victims have no life-threatening injuries.

“We are aware of an electrical incident that took place yesterday at Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, injuring three people on site who are being treated and in stable condition,” said Google spokesperson Devon Smiley. “The health and safety of all workers is our absolute top priority, and we are working closely with partners and local authorities to thoroughly investigate the situation and provide assistance as needed.”

Local fire authorities are still investigating the incident.

Nine hours after the explosion in Iowa, more than 40,000 users reported problems with Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and other services, according to Downdetector and social media reports. In total, the services were unavailable for just over 30 minutes. The outage affected more than 1,338 servers in more than 40 countries, including the United States, Australia, Britain, and China, according to Cisco-owned network analytics company ThousandEyes.

Interestingly, DownDetector found no increase in reported problems immediately after the explosion at Council Bluffs. And a Google spokesman denied in a statement on Tuesday linking the Google service outages to the Iowa incident.

“We're aware of a software update issue that occurred late this afternoon Pacific Time and briefly affected availability of Google Search and Maps, and we apologize for the inconvenience,” a Google spokesperson said.


Google has 23 data centers around the world, 14 of which are in the United States. The data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is one of the largest, was built in 2007, and now employs more than 900 people, according to the company's corporate website.

This isn't the first incident involving Google data centers over the summer. Last month, for example, record-breaking heat waves (above 40º C) knocked out Google's data centers in the United Kingdom. The company reported cooling system problems, which made cutting power to non-critical equipment necessary to prevent more serious data center outages. This led to a virtual machine outage for many of the company's customers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    We use a variety of tools, including cookies, to provide the basic services and functionality of our site, and to collect data about how visitors interact with our site, products and services. By clicking "Accept", you agree to the current terms and conditions of use of the site and give permission to use this data. Otherwise, please leave the site.

    Spelling error report

    The following text will be sent to our editors: