PARIS, Aug. 31 -- Princess Diana, her companion Dodi al-Fayed and their driver have died in a high-speed car crash and police are investigating whether attempts by paparazzi to photograph the couple may have led to the crash. French Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement announced the death in a statement outside the Salpetriere hospital. The 36-year-old princess died at 4 a.m. Paris time, about 3 1/2 hours after the accident. A physician said the cause of death was a lung hemorrhage. Doctors said the princess had suffered massive lung injuries as well as head injuries and went into cardiac arrest while being treated. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook confirmed her death in a statement on the tarmac at Manila military airport in the Philippines. He said: 'I am greatly shocked by this news. Our first thoughts must be with her children and family at this time of immense loss to them.' Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the Prince of Wales are 'deeply shocked and distressed by this terrible news.' Prince Charles had been vacationing in Scotland with his sons, 15- year-old Prince William and 12-year-old Prince Harry. The boys were informed of their mother's death. The crash happened in a tunnel along the Seine River at the Pont de l'Alma bridge near the Eiffel Tower. Police said the crash happened as paparazzi -- the commercial photographers who constantly tail Diana -- followed her Mercedes sedan, which crashed head-on into a tunnel support. Police took several photographers in for questioning.
The accident happened at 12:35 a.m. local time (22:35 GMT) in a highway tunnel along the Seine River at the Pont de l'Alma bridge, near the Eiffel Tower. Police said the 42-year-old al-Fayed was dead at the scene. The crash also killed their driver, whom police said was a security guard at the Ritz Hotel, which is owned by al-Fayed's father, billionaire Mohamed al- Fayed. Police said a fourth passenger in the car, Diana's bodyguard, was gravely injured. Diana and the 42-year-old al-Fayed had arrived in Paris on Saturday afternoon. Local press reports said the photographers' chase began when the couple were leaving the Ritz after having had dinner.