Fire­man be­lieved princess would sur­vive

Irish Examiner - - News - Tony Jones

A fire­fighter who treated Di­ana as she lay mor­tally in­jured said he was cer­tain she would sur­vive the crash.

Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon was in charge of a med­i­cally trained Sapeurs-Pom­piers (fire ser­vice) team and said the stricken royal ut­tered the words “My God, what’s hap­pened?” mo­ments be­fore she lost con­scious­ness in the Paris tun­nel on Au­gust 31, 1997.

In his first in­ter­view since the crash, and hav­ing only spo­ken pub­licly once be­fore — via video link dur­ing her in­quest in 2007 — Mr Gourmelon de­scribed the scene and how he thought Di­ana would come through.

He said: “The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road ac­ci­dent.

“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?’”

The 50-year-old said Di­ana soon stopped breath­ing, so he mas­saged her heart. Di­ana started breath­ing again, but she later died in hos­pi­tal.

He added: “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 hos­pi­tal.”

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