Six of the photographers and a driver have been detained by police for questioning. Reuters reports they could be charged with endangering lives and failing to assist persons in danger for taking pictures of the crash scene instead of helping the victims.
The incident occurred in a tunnel along the Seine River around midnight local time as the princess, 36, and her 42-year-old Egyptian boyfriend, Emad "Dodi" al-Fayed fled the photographers, who pursued on motorcycles. Their Mercedes Benz went out of control and was crushed in the ensuing accident. "The car had clearly done a lot of spinning and was facing in the opposite direction," said Scott MacLeod, of TIME's Paris Bureau.
The Princess of Wales was pronounced dead at the hospital at 4 a.m. local time after suffering massive internal injuries, according to a French Interior Ministry official who briefed reporters at Salpetriere Hospital. Fayed and the chauffeur were pronounced dead at the scene.
In an interview in the Parisian daily Le Monde Tuesday about the recently disclosed romance, the princess said she wished she could escape the "ferocious" British press by leaving England. But "I cannot," she said, "I have my sons." The two boys are currently with their father, Prince Charles. Diana was to be reunited with them on Sunday.