Real-Time Reports involving the tragic death of Diana, Princess
in a Car Crash in Paris. France
EmergencyNet News *FLASH* Report
08/30/97 - 20:00CDT
Britain's Princess Diana Badly Injured in Crash
By C. L. Staten
Paris, France (EmergencyNet) -- According to Paris police, Princess Diana of England was critically injured this evening in an automobile crash near the river Seine, at the Pont de l'Alma bridge. Her companion in the car, Dodi Al Fayed, was believed killed in the accident, which reportedly happened shortly after midnight (Paris time), police said. The chauffeur of the vehicle was also believed killed in the incident and a fourth passenger, a bodyguard, was reported to be seriously injured.
One eyewitness described the accident as extremely serious and said that the vehicle, in which the princess was travelling, had overturned. An anonymous police spokesman said the accident occurred as the princess's car was allegedly being pursued by press photographers on a motorcycle, and that this pursuit may have contributed to the accident.
An American witness, Mike Williams, said that it appeared that victims were trapped in the vehicle and he reported there was no ambulance on the scene for "several minutes" after the occurrence. Additional details of the rescue are not available at the time of this report. The actual cause of the accident remains under investigation by Paris authorities.
EmergencyNet News Update
08/30/97 - 22:50CDT
Princess Diana Reported Dead in Paris Hospital
By C. L. Staten, Sr. analyst
Paris, France (Emergencynet) -- According to at least two international news services and a spokesman from Newsweek magazine, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, age 36, has succumbed to injuries she received in a automobile accident that occurred at approximately midnight (Paris time).
Paris police officials have reportedly begun a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident that happened in an underpass of the Pont de l'Alma bridge, near the Seine river. Speculation continues to center on the involvement of at least one and maybe two motorcycles who may have been pursuing the vehicle containing the Princess and her companion, Dodi Al Fayed.
According to doctors at the Hospital de la Pitie Salpetriere, Princess Diana died as the result of massive internal and head injuries. Reportedly, she passed away at approximately 04:00 a.m. Paris time. French Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement and Paris Police chief Philippe Massoni were with British diplomatic personnel at the hospital at the time of the Princess' death. Prince Charles, vacationing in Balmoral, Scotland, has been informed of the accident.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair reportedly was ``shocked and saddened'' by the ``devastating, appalling tragedy,'' an ministerial spokesman said. Britons everywhere began to express their shock and dismay shortly after the announcement of Princess Diana's passing.
EmergencyNet News will continue to monitor events surrounding the incident and the ensuing investigation and provide additional details as they become available.
02:15CDT - 08/31/97
From a West Coast Analyst to ERRI:
"Just a note. I've already received several phone calls asking if it was an assassination. The timing and people were extremely convenient for both the anti-Saudis and the Royal family. I'm not suggesting anything except you can expect the conspiracy guys out in full force on this one. The calls I received were not from the usual conspiracy guys. If Mr. and Mrs. America are wondering, you can imagine what is going to happen here. First suggestion from a UDT guy after seeing the car: a pipe bomb."
(ERRI "Instant Analysis": The vehicle did not appeared charred, nor were there reports of a major fire, parts were not strewn for a distance from the wreckage...so a bomb would appear doubtful at this time. There was a, so far, unexplained witness report of an explosion...which may have been the crash itself, but not other details to support that theory.
We are exploring more about the Al Fayed position visa-vie the Saud family and Saudi dissident, and the possibility of other security threats. Also, we have questions about identifying the "photographers" that were pursuing the car as it crashed? We simply need more facts before proceeding with another theory, other than they ran into a pillar in the midst of a high-speed chase. For the time being, absent additional facts, we must proceed with the assumption that it was simply an accident...although the alleged involvement of motorcyclists must be investigated completely.
Finally, the bodyguard and driver (described as a hotel security guard) should have been expected to flee a group of motorcyclists, "paparazzi" or not, if they had surrounded the vehicle of their principals. Given the history of Paris and terrorist attacks, standard security procedures would have caused them to attempt to allude any unknown personnel...out of fear that it was an assassination or kidnap attempt. More facts are needed, in order to draw more conclusions. -- C. L. Staten, Sr. Analyst
From: ERRI EMERGENCY SERVICES
REPORT-EmergencyNet NEWS Service-Sunday, August 31, 1997-Vol. 1 -
TODAY'S TOP STORY: 09:30CDT
PRINCESS DIANA KILLED IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT
From the ERRI Watch Center
PARIS (EmergencyNet News) - Diana, Princess of Wales, died early Sunday after a horrible high-speed car crash which also killed her close friend, millionaire-movie producer Dodi Fayed. The shocking tragedy, which left Britain in mourning for the glamorous Princess, came in an underpass in Paris as the couple were in their chauffeur driven Mercedes 600, apparently being followed by French paparazzi photographers on motorcycles.
It took rescue workers almost two hours to extricate Diana, age 36, from the wreckage and took her to a hospital where doctors battled for two hours to try to save the life of the Princess as she lay with massive bleeding from terrible injuries to her chest. During the vain and desperate battle, surgeons opened her chest and massaged her heart with their hands in a bid to save her. Because it took so long to extricate her from the wreckage of the car, the "golden hour" of emergency medicine was lost in which doctors may had been able to do more to save the life of the Princess.
The crash, which also killed the driver -- a security man from the Ritz Hotel, owned by Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed -- occurred just before 0100 hours, Paris time. The Princess and Dodi had been dining at the exclusive Parisian hotel and were apparently returning to a townhouse in the city. A bodyguard, also in the car, was seriously injured.
As their Mercedes 600, said to be ruggedly-built automobile, entered an underpass near to the River Seine it went out of control struck a center concrete divider and slammed into a wall. Some reports said the vehicle was traveling as fast as 100 MPH and that it rolled over several times. There has been no official report, as of yet, from Paris accident investigators.
There have been unsubstantiated reports that the flash from the photographers cameras may have blinded the driver of the car as he was traveling at high-speeds and then he lost control. It is not known if the driver had received special executive protection driver training.
Between four and seven French photographers were detained by police and at least one of their machines was impounded and taken away. The photographers, all French, have been detained for questioning by police. They are being held at the headquarters of the Crime Squad in the city. An investigation into the incident was being led by Commissaire Martine Monteil. The investigation was described as a "criminal matter" and the tragedy was not being investigated merely as a multiple fatal traffic accident.
The Princess died at Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris at 0400 hours local time after going into cardiac arrest. During their desperate attempts to save her life, doctors first attempted CPR before deciding to open her chest to carry out the same procedure internally. The staff at the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris also repaired a hole in a major vein in Diana's heart which was causing haemorrhaging. The Princess's heart had stopped after the bleeding.
The first attempts to revive the Princess took place at the scene of the accident, in a road tunnel across the Seine river from the Eiffel Tower. In a brief statement written in French, the hospital added: "The Princess of Wales was the victim tonight of a high speed traffic accident. She was immediately put under the care of the SAMU of Paris which carried out initial resuscitation. On her arrival at the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital she presented a severe thoracic haemorrhage before suffering a sudden heart attack. An urgent thorocotomy revealed a major laceration to the left pulmonary vein. Despite the closure of this laceration and an external and internal heart massage lasting two hours, no circulation was able to be restored and death was declared at 4am."
Efforts to save the life of Diana, at the accident scene and at the hospital, were described as "heroic."
(C) EmergencyNet News Service, 1997. All rights reserved. Redistribution without permission is prohibited.
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