French fireman recalls Princess Diana’s final words

On the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death after a car collision in Paris, one of the French firefighters who responded to the scene recalled her final words, The Sun reported.

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“The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident,” Xavier Gourmelon said when his crew arrived at the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. “We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive. Diana said to me, ‘My God, what’s happened?’”

The princess was conscious and had her eyes open when she was pulled out of the wrecked Mercedes, Gourmelon told the Sun.

“She was moving very slightly and I could see she was alive,” he said . “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."

When Gourmelon and others lifted her onto a stretcher, she suffered cardiac arrest.

"I massaged her heart and a few seconds later she was breathing again," he told the Sun. "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.”

Gourmelon, who is now retired, said he initially did not realize it was the princess in the car.

“I was so shocked,” he told the Sun. “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.”

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