Three critically injured in Google data centre ‘electrical incident’ in Iowa

Three critically injured in Google data centre 'electrical incident' in Iowa

Image of the Google facility in Mountain View, California in 2015. Credit: Asif Islam/

An ‘electrical incident’ at a Google data centre in Iowa has left three workmen critical in hospital with burns.

Three people have been left in critcal condition with serious burns following an explosion that occurred on Monday, August 8, at a Google data centre in Iowa, Council Bluffs Police Department and Google told

The three electricians were working on a substation near the data centre when the electrical explosion – also known as an arc flash – happened at around 11:59am.

Jim Wood, the assistant chief for the Council Bluffs Fire Department, told the Omaha World-Herald, “It was definitely some sort of electrical issue”, revealing that first responders were dispatched to the scene after reports of an ‘electrical incident’.

According to SFGATE, one of the workmen had to be airlifted to Nebraska Medical Centre by helicopter. His workmates were transferred, with serious burns, to the same facility by ambulance. According to Council Bluffs Police Department, all three were conscious and breathing.

Google spokesperson Devon Smiley said: “We are aware of an electrical incident that took place yesterday at Google’s data centre in Council Bluffs, Iowa, injuring three people onsite who are being treated and in stable condition”.

“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”, added Smiley.

Located near Lake Manawa State Park, the Council Bluffs data centre is one of Google’s largest. It is home to supercomputers, high-tech computers used to store and process large amounts of information. 


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at