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Wikipedia blackout caused by accidental cable slice in Florida

• Josh Halliday, The Guardian

Wikipedia was inaccessible globally for a couple of hours on Monday after someone accidentally cut through fibre cables connecting its servers in Florida.

The online encyclopedia was down for about two hours on Monday afternoon after the mishap near its worldwide data centre in Tampa, Florida.

The site was brought back online at about 4pm UK time, 11am Eastern Standard Time in the USA.

A spokesman for the site said there was no suggestion of foul play for the outage.

He said that two overland cables were cut between Tampa and Virginia, which took down the website for just over an hour. It took another hour to bring the site back online, although some services were still not fully accessible.

The rare outage prompted a flurry of quips on Twitter.

“Wikipedia is down. I don’t know anything anymore,” tweeted Guillermo Esteves.

The Twitter user Lex exclaimed: “Oh my god, Wikipedia is down. WHERE IS ALL THE KNOWLEDGE? WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE?”.

David Bedwell replied: “@lexcanroar QUICK. GRAB ENCARTA.”

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