Google's Gmail Service Hit By Interruption
Google's popular web-based email service Gmail has suffered a service interruption that left many users without access to their accounts.
Personal and business users visiting gmail.com were met with an error message, with the code 502, as the service remained down for up to 90 minutes, according to some anxious comments on Twitter.
About 40 minutes after registering the problem on its Google Apps dashboard, which monitors the performance of the internet giant's products, the company said it had been fixed.
"The problem with Google Mail should be resolved," it said.
"We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."
There was no immediate indication of what had caused the problem, which also affected the Google Drive online storage service.
Some users suggested that Google Docs, the company's word-processing and spreadsheet service, and internet browser Chrome had also crashed.
People unable to access Gmail took to Twitter for information and to vent their frustration.
"This is why I love Twitter," Katherine Hurd said. "I can confirm that #gmail is down within seconds and see rage-tweets from all over the world."
Danelle Schugart said: "I didn't know how much I loved you till you were gone #gmaildown."
And Jackie Murphy suggested it was a sign of the apocalyse predicted for December 21.
"Let's be honest #gmaildown is really what the Mayans were talking about all along."
The search giant has been pushing a corporate version of the email service to businesses as part of its Google Apps software suite, which competes with Microsoft Office.