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A Mysterious Explosion At Google Injured Workers Hours Before A Major Outage

A Google outage led to thousands of people not having access to its services including searches late Monday night.

In a twisted coincidence, an electrical explosion brought destruction to one of its data centers in Council Bluffs, Iowa, earlier that same day.

The explosion injured three electricians, according to local reporting on the incident.

According to Google, the two incidents are unrelated. The company is officially blaming the outage on a “software update,” as The Guardian reports, not the explosion. It is leading people to speculate on whether the incidents were, in fact, related.

The electricians were on duty at a substation nearby when an explosion known as an arc flash occurred. It severely burned all three of the workers. The official cause is yet to be found.

“We are aware of an electrical incident that took place today at Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, injuring three people on site who are now being treated,” a Google spokesperson told SFGate.

Later that night, DownDetector, a website that tracks outages of major internet domains, reported a massive influx of outages in Google services that started around 9:00 pm and peaked at 9:41 pm.

Everything from Gmail to Google Maps went down, and users saw error codes when they wanted to access these platforms.

Whatever the cause, the outage is yet another reminder of just how much the Internet and people depend on Google.

“[The outage] once again highlights our dependence on technology service providers and shows how reliant many people are on a single operator for daily functions,” wrote cybersecurity professor Paul Haskell-Downland in The Conversation.

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