Princess Diana: 20 years on Diana’s DYING WORDS REVEALED by fireman who tried to save her
A Firefighter who performed CPR on Princess Diana has revealed her words at the crash scene.
Xavier Gourmelon was one of the first responders, working at the nearby Malar fire station where he was the duty officer.
Now retired from the service after 22 years, he can still vividly recall the fateful night when the 36-year-old Princess died.
Mr Gourmelon, 50, said when he first arrived at the scene in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, he had no idea who the occupants of the car were.
He said: “The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident.
“For me this was simply a banal traffic accident, one of many that emergency services have to deal with and it was the usual causes, speed and a drunk driver.
“We were very close to there and it took less than three minutes to reach it.
“My 10-man team was in two trucks and we were first to arrive.
“We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive.”
He described the chaotic scene which greeted him 20 years ago, saying driver Henri Paul was already dead and there was “nothing that could be done for him”.
Princess Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, turned out to be the only survivor.
Mr Gourmelon said he was trapped in the wreckage with “severe” facial injuries.
And in the back were Dodi al-Fayed and Princess Diana.
She said, ‘My God, what’s happened?’
Mr Gourmelon said: “Mr Fayed was in the back and in a bad condition, he had a cardiac arrest in the car and when he was taken out he was declared dead by a paramedic.
“The woman, who I later found out was Princess Diana, was on the floor in the back. She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive.
“I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but, other than that, there was nothing significant. There was no blood on her at all.
“I held her hand and told her to be calm and keep still, I said I was there to help and reassured her. She said, ‘My God, what’s happened?’
“I gave her some oxygen and my team and I stayed by her side as she was taken out of the car. It was very quick because we didn’t have to cut any of the wreckage.”
He revealed he had high hopes she would live as she was conscious and had her eyes open when she was pulled from the wreckage of the Mercedes.
But when she was placed on a stretcher, she suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
Mr Gourmelon performed CPR and revealed Diana started breathing again, and he was positive she would make a recovery.
He said: “To be honest I thought she would live. As far as I knew when she was in the ambulance she was alive and I expected her to live.
“But I found out later she had died in hospital. It was very upsetting.
“I know now that there were serious internal injuries, but the whole episode is still very much in my mind. And the memory of that night will stay with me forever.
“I had no idea then that it was Princess Diana. It was only when she had been put into the ambulance that one of the paramedics told me it was her.
“I was so shocked. I knew who she was, but don’t follow British royalty closely.
“I went to the ambulance and looked in and that’s when I recognised her.”
The princess was rushed to Pitie-Salpetriere hospital where paramedics battled to save her life, but she died at 4am.
An official report later revealed the royal suffered a ruptured blood vessel next to her heart which caused massive internal bleeding, as well as other internal injuries.
Mr Gourmelon added: “I can still picture the whole scene. It’s something I’ll never forget and that I always think about at this time of year.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
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