Soldier loses fingers during prince’s birthday salute

Soldier had been reloading antique cannon after it failed to fire

A soldier has reportedly lost fingers on one of his hands after being hit by parts of a gunpowder charge during a birthday salute to Prince Henrik at Kronborg castle in Helsingør today.

Helsingør Dagblad newspaper reports that the soldier, 26, was injured when he was walking in front of one of the antique cannons being used in the salute to Henrik on his 79th birthday after it failed to fire.

The soldier had moved to the front of the cannon to reload it in preparation for the next volley.

According to reports, the soldier was thrown over the edge of the castle wall where the cannon was placed, falling four metres to the ground below. Rescue workers were on hand to render immediate assistance. Helsingør Dagblad reports that the man did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

Henrik Rasmussen, a spokesperson for Nordsjællands Politi, told the newspaper BT that the cannons were firing blanks and that the soldier was not hit by a cannon ball.