Hong Kong Fire Services Department's HK$700 million third-generation mobilizing system was down again Saturday morning for almost two hours, failing to dispatch emergency service requests to ambulances.

The system won the Best Public Service Application Grand Award at the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2007, but it was down 10 times--including this latest incident--since its rollout in 2005. Earlier this year, the system was also down thrice in May and June respectively, according to a report by Chinese-language newspaper The Sun.

The incident on Saturday saw Fire Services Communications Center staff and ambulance officers resort to communications by phones and radio communications devices as well as manually writing down addresses of people who needed ambulance service.

A database glitch was the cause of the outage according to the results of an investigation by the system contractor, said the spokesperson of the Fire Services Department, adding that the system was up again 84 minutes after at 10:15am.