A ceremonial red-coated foot guard for the governor general of Canada was recovering Thursday after tripping and falling onto his own rifle bayonet in Ottawa.
The unidentified 20-year-old member of the Governor General's Foot Guards was marching in the changing of the guard ceremony Wednesday when he stumbled on a manhole cover and fell onto his weapon, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Backup members of the guard rushed to his aid, although witnesses said he lost a large amount of blood before paramedics arrived.
The soldier was in serious but stable condition Thursday.
Capt. John-Hugh MacDonald, public affairs spokesman for the guard, told the Citizen the marching route would be reviewed as other guards had also slipped on the manhole cover during a turn in the march.
"Ceremonial guards are not toy soldiers," he said. "They are fully trained soldiers, with real weapons in their hands, who also happen to perform ceremonial drills."