It seems very obvious he meant to say something like "the sand on the ground which has been put there to soak up the blood", but he got the words wrong, and then stumbled over the end of the sentence because he could tell something was wrong. Like he says, he did not realize exactly what at the time, and as it was live TV you can't just stop and say "wait, what did I just say"?
I've been presenting a weekly three hour live radio show on one of my local stations for eight years now, and it's so easy to stumble over words and not realise what you've said til much later. Some of my highlights include asking a record producer "when did you decide to hang up your guitar and become a knob jockey", doing a 5 minute piece where I mixed up two musicians and went on about David Bowies work in T-Rex and then going on to talk about Marc Bolans classic album "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" and most embarrassing of all, describing the version of Thin Lizzy that reformed a few years ago with out the late great Phil Lynott as "lacking something vital, it's like a full English breakfast with out the Black Pudding" (That one got several complaints and I gave a (sincere) apology the following week). I've also done a limited amount of film and TV, I've acted in a couple of short independent films and done a bit of live TV in the role as press and media officer for some local community groups.
I can say it is not easy to stay focused all the time, on the radio I fly solo, ie work alone as presenter and engineer. You need to keep one eye on the studio clock, one on the output meters, another on your notes and still make sure the next track is cued and ready to play, all the time making fine adjustments to faders and gain controls. As you can see that's more eyes than the average human can normally lay claim to, add in factors like interviewing a live guest, or doing a phone hook up (more meters to watch) all whilst speaking to the audience and you tend to find the mouth goes onto autopilot - you know the gist of what your saying , but not the exact words, and errors are made. TV is even worse, you have a ear piece that's gabbling on all the time feeding information not only to you but also the lighting, camera and sound guys, you often have a floor or location manager getting in your line of sight pointing at stuff and making making gestures at all and sundry and a gaggle of others - runners etc doing stuff behind the cameras and its hard enough to stay focused as a guest let alone a presenter of anchor.
Even OB news crew have similar issues, the location team may only be a three man crew - reporter / camera / sound, but the are still going to be 'on feed' to the team in the up link truck, and maybe with the crews back at the network studios as well, and thats without environmental and other factors going on around them. In the case of Ian Woods he is reporting from the middle of a huge breaking and fast moving news story, that is constantly changing and up dating, desperately filling airtime, working without a script and probably minimal notes and still trying to remain cool and eloquent. In fact given all that I am suprised the reporters from the various networks didn't make more errors, especially given that some of them were putting in 18+ hour days for five or six days without rest.
When I make on air mistakes they are destined for the blopper reel and played to much mirth at the stations Christmas party, when Ian Woods stumbles over his words its used as proof that he is someway part of a massive conspiracy. I'm glad I opted for music radio not broadcast news.