Princess Diana died in car crash in Paris in August 1997. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Firefighter Xavier Gourmelon who gave Princess Diana at the scene of her tragic Paris crash and heard her final words thought he'd saved her life.

Xavier Gourmelon, 50, heard the late princess' final words when he tended to her in the back of the car following a crash in Paris in August 1997, from which she died aged 36, and he admits she didn't seem to have many "significant" injuries. 

He said: "The car was in a mess and we just dealt with it like any road accident. We got straight to work to see who needed help and who was alive. Diana said to me, 'My God, what's happened?'

"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. 

"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."

The firefighter - who has since left the Paris service after 22 years - then had to give her CPR to save her life after she suffered a cardiac arrest but when she started breathing again Xavier thought she would survive.

He added to The Sun newspaper: "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 know now that there were serious internal injuries, but the whole episode is still very much in my mind. And the memory of that night will stay with me forever.

"I had no idea then that it was Princess Diana. It was only when she had been put into the ambulance that one of the paramedics told me it was her."

Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed were both killed in the crash along with their driver Henri Paul, but her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the only one of the quartet wearing a seatbelt, survived. 

Following a six-month hearing, it was decided in 2008 that the tragic smash was caused by a combination of Henri - who had been drinking - and the driving of the following vehicles, a group of paparazzi photographers.