A FIRE chief has recalled the moment Princess Diana asked “Oh my god, what’s happened” in the aftermath of her deadly Paris car crash.
Sergeant Xavier Gourmelon dashed to the Alma tunnel with fire and ambulance crews in the early hours of August 31, 1997.
🔵 Read our Royal Family live blog for the latest updates
He told the Daily Mail he knew something extremely serious had happened as a full medical team had already been ordered to the scene of the horror crash.
Gourmelon said he then saw Diana’s loyal bodyguard – Trevor Rees-Jones – whom seemed “very agitated” and clearly needed medical help.
The sergeant also spotted a doctor crouched in the wreckage of the Mercedes with another victim – who turned out to be Diana who was “moving and talking.”
Gourmelon’s team removed Diana’s then boyfriend Dodi from the wreckage and tried to resuscitate him.
“Once he was out, I stayed with the female passenger,” he revealed.
“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 added that “apart from her shoulder” he couldn’t see too much externally wrong with William and Harry’s mother.
Diana was then fitted with a cervical collar, breathing mask and covered in a metallic isothermal blanket.
Her breathing was said to be normal while her pulse was “fine and quite strong.”
Gourmelon later helped move Diana into an ambulance – at the time unaware who the famous patient was.
Then a captain at the scene made him aware that the crash victim was one of the most famous women in the world.
“He tells me who she is and then, yes, I recognise her, but in the moment I didn’t,” Gourmelon revealed.
The infamous road smash happened minutes after Diana, Dodi, Trevor Rees-Jones and Henri Paul left the Ritz in the French capital just after midnight.
According to one eyewitness, driver Paul told waiting paparazzi “don’t try to follow us…you won’t catch us.”
They are then followed by photographers to the junction with Rue de Rivoli, where the Mercedes turns right into the Place de la Concorde.
It continues along the Seine embankment towards the Pont de l’Alma.
Near the entrance to the underpass the two-tonne Mercedes glances a white Fiat Uno.
It then spins and comes to rest facing in the opposite direction after hitting a pillar in the tunnel at around 65mph.
The impact kills Dodi and Paul while Rees-Jones and Diana are left seriously injured.
At the same time an off-duty doctor enters the tunnel from the other direction in his Peugeot.
“I noticed some smoke in the tunnel and I drove slower and slower and then I saw [the Mercedes],” Frederic Mailliez told the Mail.
“Inside the Mercedes two [victims] were already apparently dead and two were severely injured but still alive.”
He then went to his car to collect what medical equipment he had and called the emergency services.
“Then I went back inside the Mercedes and tried to give assistance to the young woman,” he added.
“She was sitting on the floor in the back….she was a most beautiful woman and she didn’t have any [serious] injuries to her face.”
He then told Diana in English that he was a doctor and that an ambulance was on the way.
It was earlier reported how a medic “tried everything” he could to get her heart beating again after she arrived at hospital.
MonSef Dahman was on duty at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital when the princess was rushed there from the crash scene.
He told the Daily Mail how he was resting in the duty room when he got a call from a senior anaesthetist telling him to go to the emergency room urgently.
“I wasn’t told it was Lady Diana, but [only] that there’d been a serious accident involving a young woman,” he revealed.
He said: “For any doctor, any surgeon, it is of very great importance to be faced with such a young woman who is in this condition. But of course even more so if she is a princess.”
X-rays soon revealed Diana was suffering very serious internal bleeding and excess fluid being removed from her chest cavity.
She then suffered another heart attack.
Dahman was then joined in the emergency room by Professor Alain Pavie -who was one of France’s leading heart surgeons.
“We tried electric shocks, several times and, as I had done in the emergency room, cardiac massage,” revealed Dahman.
“Professor Riou had administered adrenaline. But we could not get her heart beating again.”
They then worked for an hour desperately trying to save Diana’s life but to no avail.
“We fought hard, we tried a lot, really an awful lot,” said Dahman.”We could not save her. And that affected us very much.”