9 OCTOBER 2007

With the roar of the Paris traffic silenced and roads sealed off by police, the 11 jurors in the British inquest into the death of Diana walked into the underpass to see the spot where the Princess' Mercedes crashed on that fateful August day ten years ago. Once there, they stood in silence before the 13th pillar - which had a large chunk of concrete gouged out of the base - and were urged to look around by the coroner in charge of the case, Lord Justice Scott Baker.

The group, accompanied by a team of court officials and lawyers, are making a two-day visit to the French capital to retrace the final journey of the late royal and her companion Dodi Al Fayed. The trip marks the first time a case of its kind has convened outside the UK.

Much of Monday's itinerary focused on the Pont de L'Alma tunnel, on the other side of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. Three grey buses, escorted by police motorcycles, carried the group through the underpass, once in each direction, before traffic was stopped so jurors could inspect it on foot.

The start of the afternoon was delayed, however, when one of the buses suffered a burst tyre after colliding with a metal pillar while parking outside the Ritz hotel. It had dropped the jurors off to allow them to view the back entrance from which Diana and Dodi exited.

Another visit was made to the crash scene at night - in order to recreate the conditions as closely as possible - before everyone was driven to the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital where Diana died. The route taken is believed to be the journey taken by the ambulance, though Lord Justice Scott Baker told the jury the exact route remains unknown.

On Tuesday, the group are due to convene outside the front entrance of the Ritz, where hordes of photographers gathered a decade ago in the hope of getting a photo of Diana and Dodi together. They will also be shown the Imperial Suite where the couple stayed, as well as the hotel's Bar Vendome, where Heri Paul - the driver who also perished the crash - is known to have consumed two liqueurs before being called on to drive.

The following day the jurors are due to return to London, where they will hear evidence from French crash witnesses via a satellite link from Paris. Among them will be photographers and the medics who were the first to arrive at the scene.

Photo: ©
The inquest relocated to Paris this week to allow the 11 jurors to retrace the ill-fated journey of Princess Diana and her companion Dodi Al Fayed. Here they enter the Pont de L'Alma underpass to view the spot where the couple's Mercedes crashed ten years agoPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
Another trip was made to the scene on Monday night to recreate as closely as possible the exact conditions experienced on the night of the crashPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
While in the French capital the court is also due to see the suite at the Ritz where the late Princess stayed, as well as the hotel bar where Heri Paul - the driver who also perished the crash - is known to have consumed two liqueurs before he was called on to drivePhoto: © AFP