The firefighter who treated Princess Diana as she lay fatally injured in a Paris tunnel has said he was certain she would survive the crash.
Twenty years after the tragedy, Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon, who led the response team, said the Princess of Wales’ last words were: “My God, what’s happened?”
The 36-year-old royal was was taken to Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in the French capital but was pronounced dead several hours later on 31 August 1997.
Mr Gourmelon said he was sure Diana would survive.
“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 told The Sun.
“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“.
Mr Gourmelon added the two passengers in the back of the car, Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed, who was also killed in the accident, were not wearing seat belts.
Family and friends of the Princess have said this was unusual behaviour for her and she normally buckled up for every journey.
At the inquest into the accident in 2008, it was ruled that Diana and Fayed were killed due to the “gross negligence” of the driver Henri Paul, who was drunk, as well as the paparazzi.
Flowers and cards have been left outside Diana’s former home Kensington Palace to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
Prince William and Prince Harry, Diana’s sons, visited the tributes and thanked the crowds.
On Twitter, Kensington Palace wrote: “The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their mother.
“They wanted to say thank you to those who had made the journey to Kensington Palace.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies