The world woke up in shock to that eventful day when Diana had died. It was August 31, 1997 when Princess Diana had died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel, the result of a horrible paparazzi chase gone wrong. Now 20 years after her death, the first firefighter who found her reveals Diana’s last words just before dying. Let’s take you back to that sad and tragic day when Prince William and Harry lost their beloved mother.
The news of Princess Diana was a shock to the world
This was indeed a huge shock that gripped the world because Diana was loved by many. She was only 36 the day she died along with Dodi Al fayed, son of Egyptian Billionaire Mohammed Al Fayed and owner of Harrods in London. The couple both succumbed to injuries in the Paris Tunnel at Ponte De Alma. It was a brutal death and the callous result of vengeful paparazzi wanting their way. In the end Dian died just for the sake of a scoop.
She was always a media darling in England
Post marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, Diana was always in the media spotlight. However this proved to be tragic as she was under constant scrutiny for her every move.
She started seeing Dodi Al Fayed in 1997
Princes Diana was romantically linked to Dodi Al Fayed ever since she started seeing him in 1997. They were together leaving an occasion in the Ritz on that eventful night on August 31, 1997 in Paris.
They escaped from the back exit
Even as the staff at the hotel struggled with the paparazzi, Diana and Dodi escaped from the back exit. A decoy vehicle first left after which the hotel head of security Henri Paul drove them out of the back.
Unfortunately, some paparazzi spotted them and chased them on motorcycles.
The fatal accident
The car speeding down the tunnel at Pont de l’Alma tunnel lost control and crashed. The Mercedes driven by Paul also had one of Dodi Fayed’s security officers in the front seat. It was travelling at 65 kmph and Paul was later found to be under the influence of alcohol.
The paparazzi were busty shooting pictures
Even as they noticed smoke rising from the car, the paparazzi were busy shooting pictures. Some went to help but by then it was too late.
The first fireman to reach the scene describes Diana’s last words
Now 20 years after Diana’s death, a French fireman spoke to the Sun paper in London and revealed what actually happened
“The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident,” Xavier Gourmelon said when his team arrived at the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. “We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive. Diana said to me, ‘My God, what’s happened?'”
According to Gourmelon, the princess was conscious and had her eyes open when he pulled her out of the wrecked Mercedes. “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.”
He tried massaging her heart
After placing her on a stretcher, he tried massaging her heart but she suffered a heart attack.
I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she was breathing again,” he said. “It was a relief of course because, as a first responder, you want to save lives – and that’s what I thought I had done. 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 the hospital. It was very upsetting.” “I was so shocked,” he said. “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 recognized her.”
Gouremelon has never spoken about the incident for 20 years as he only recently retired from the fire service and wasn’t allowed to speak about such experiences.