SURGEONS have amputated the lower left leg of a child severely burned in the blaze, but they remain pessimistic about the student's chances of survival. Prince of Wales Hospital orthopaedics and traumatology chief Professor Chan Kai-ming said it had been 'definitely a life-saving decision' to remove half the student's leg. 'There were complications arising in the student's severely burned left leg to the extent that there is extensive muscle necrosis [dead muscle] and fulminating infection of the left leg,' Professor Chan said. He said that if they had not amputated the leg it would have threatened the student's entire system and lowered the chance of life. The decision came early yesterday after an emergency operation on Wednesday night failed to clear the dead muscles and revive blood circulation in the leg. 'The decision to proceed with an amputation is, in fact, to save life by removing the dead tissue,' Professor Chan said. 'We hope that this will enhance the chance of survival.' After a three-hour operation, a doctor from the hospital's intensive care unit said the student's situation remained very critical. 'We are not optimistic,' he said. Acting chief of surgery Professor Sydney Chung Sheung-chee said the other five badly burned students in intensive care were still critical. 'They still require adrenalin to support their circulation,' Professor Chung said. Burns unit chief Professor Walter King Wing-keung had performed skin grafts on three of the students on Wednesday, and another three had similar operations yesterday. But 13-year-old Lee Chun-man, the boy rescued after spending a night alone on the hillside, had been making steady progress, Professor Chan said. Still in critical condition are five girls: Chan Chor-man, 14, Yu Hiu-woon, 13, Chan Wai-hung, 13, Chong Mei-yee, 13, and So Yuen-shan, 12; and two 13-year-old boys, Cheung Yun-hang and Lee Chun-man. Chiu Kwong and Yip Foon, both 12, remain stable in the burns unit and Ho Wan-yin, 13, is stable in the neurosurgical unit.