Google Data Center Explosion Causes Injuries

‘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,’ says a Google spokesperson.


A total of three people sustained serious burns yesterday following an electrical explosion at a Google data center in Iowa.

First responders were sent to Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Monday afternoon to respond to a report of an electrical explosion with three people critically injured.

All three victims were taken to the Nebraska Medical Center, with two taken by ambulance and one taken by helicopter.

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“We are aware of an electrical incident that took place on Aug. 8 at Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, injuring three people on-site who are now being treated,” said a Google spokesperson. “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.”

There are no life-threatening injuries, according to police and news reports.

Google Search, Maps, YouTube Outages

According to outage tracking website Downdetector, over 30,000 incidences of people reporting Google issues occurred in the U.S. yesterday afternoon—a few hours after the electrical incident.

The most impacted was Google Search, but YouTube and Google Maps also saw minor increases in outage reports, according to Downdetector.

However, the reports of Google service outages quickly subsided after just a few minutes.

A Google spokesperson told CRN that the explosion in Iowa was not related to the outages. The outrages “was the result of an internal error, and we don’t have further details to share,” said Google.

Google’s data center in Council Bluffs is one of the company’s largest data centers in the country.

Hot Temperatures Lead To Data Center Power Outages

Data centers can be knocked offline for a slew of different reasons.

In fact, just last month data centers owned by Google and Oracle were forced offline in the U.K. due to the record-breaking heat wave.

Both companies cited problems with their data center’s cooling systems for causing the outages as temperatures topped 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Google needed to power down some parts of its cloud services in London to prevent damage to machines and an extended outage. A cooling failure at Oracle’s data center in London led the company to power down noncritical hardware to prevent uncontrolled hardware failures.

Google’s $9.5 Billion Data Center Bet

Google is one of the largest spenders on building and equipping new data centers that power its cloud services and ever-growing cloud computing customer demands.

This year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled plans to invest $9.5 billion in data centers and U.S. offices in 2022.

“Our investments in data centers will continue to power the digital tools and services that help people and businesses thrive,” said Google CEO Pichai in April.

The company recently launched a $750 million new data center in Nebraska, with billions more in store for Google data centers in Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas.

Many of Google’s hyperscale data centers house thousands of servers, storage and networking infrastructure. Google Cloud has 34 existing cloud regions to help local companies serve their global users.

In the second quarter of 2022, Google Cloud revenue surpassed the $6 billion mark for the first time.

Google Cloud now has an annualized run rate of over $25 billion.