20 years since Diana's passing

Responding Firefighter remembers

20 years since Diana's passing Photo: BBC
Triple M Goulburn Valley's Sean Cullen.

It’s 20 years today since Princes Diana was tragically killed in that car crash in Paris.

For the first time the firefighter who tried to save Diana has spoken out, he spoke at the inquest at the time but has not spoken publicly about it, till now.

Xavier Gourmelon was first on the scene and said Princess Diana was conscious and had her eyes open.  She then went into cardiac arrest as she was being placed on the stretcher, he performed CPR and resuscitated her and was convinced she would survive.

He was horrified when told later she had died at 4am in a Paris hospital despite surgeons frantic efforts to revive her.

Xavier had no idea he was treating Princess Diana at the scene of the crash and also said she had no blood on her body whatsoever. 

“I could see she had a slight injury to her right shoulder but, other than that, there was nothing significant”.

“I gave her some oxygen and my team and I stayed by her side as she was taken out of the car. It was very quick because we didn’t have to cut any of the wreckage.’’

Not long after she stopped breathing which is when Xavier massaged her heart and she started breathing again.

“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. It was very upsetting.”

“I can still picture the whole scene. It’s something I’ll never forget and that I always think about at this time of year.”

The official report said the princess had suffered massive internal injuries and a ruptured blood vessel next to her heart which was causing internal bleeding.