Princess Diana asked ‘oh my God, what’s happened’ in final moments, fire chief claims

‘I could understand that, so I tried to calm her. I held her hand,’ says Sergeant Xavier Gourelon

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Tuesday 22 June 2021 15:02
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<p>Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey, London, for a centenary service for the Royal College Of Music on 28 February, 1982.</p>

Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey, London, for a centenary service for the Royal College Of Music on 28 February, 1982.

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In her final moments, Princess Diana asked “oh my God, what’s happened?” a fire chief has claimed.

Sergeant Xavier Gourelon, who was one of the first rescuers to arrive at the Alma tunnel on 31 August, 1997, said he stayed with her and held her hand in an attempt to calm her.

He did not know who he was treating until, having helped her into an ambulance, a colleague told him he had cared for the Princess of Wales.

Diana lost consciousness in the ambulance and was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes, Henri Paul, were killed in the crash. Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, was the sole survivor.

Mr Gourmelon told the Daily Mail that when he arrived on the scene, he saw Mr Rees-Jones, who appeared “very agitated” and needed medical help.

He also saw a doctor crouched next to Diana, who was “moving and talking”.

Rescuers attempted to resuscitate Fayed as he was removed from the car, and Mr Gourmelon said he stayed with Diana in the back seat.

"She spoke in English and said, 'oh my God, what’s happened?' I could understand that, so I tried to calm her. I held her hand,” he said.

He said she had a shoulder injury but he could not see any other injuries.

Diana was then fitted with a cervical collar and a breathing mask, then covered in a metallic isothermal blanket.

Mr Gourmelon said her breathing was normal and her pulse was “fine and quite strong”.

After he had helped move her into an ambulance, a captain told him he had just helped the Princess of Wales.

"He tells me who she is and then, yes, I recognise her, but in the moment I didn’t,” he said.

Frederic Mailliez, an off-duty doctor who was driving in the opposite direction and stopped when he saw the wreckage of the Meredes, spoke of how Diana was “severely injured” but still alive.

He grabbed medical equipment from his car and went to help her.

"She was a most beautiful woman and she didn’t have any [serious] injuries to her face,” he said.

He spoke to her in English and told her he was a doctor and an ambulance was on the way.

Diana would later die from serious internal injuries in hospital, despite surgery.

An inquiry into Diana’s death in 2008 found she had been unlawfully killed, with paparazzi photographers and her driver to blame.

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