Cambridge University Student Dies After Falling From Madagascar Plane

1 August 2019, 10:01 | Updated: 1 August 2019, 16:22

Cambridge University Student Dead Madagascar Plane
Cambridge University Student Dies After Falling From Madagascar Plane. Picture: FCO / PA

Family pays tribute to "bright independent" Cambridge University student who died after she fell out of a plane while on an internship in Madagascar.

Local media first reported she fell from the light aircraft while carrying out research in the remote area of Anjajavy in Madagascar last Thursday.

But police have now released pictures of themselves re-enacting what they believe were her last moments inside the plane.

They say Alana Cutland, 19, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was restrained by a friend she was travelling with as well as the plane pilot, who both tried to keep her inside the plane as the student attempted to jump from it.

Police claim Alana managed to free herself from their "exhausted" grip before falling to her death.

Ms Cutland's cause of death has not yet been confirmed by UK authorities.

Cambridge university student dead plane madagascar
A Cambridge university student died after falling from a plane. Picture: FCO / CUTLAND FAMILY

Alana had raised money to travel to Madagascar outside of her university studies and was hosted by the local hotel while she worked on an animal biology project studying crabs on the shoreline.

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, her family said: "Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her.

"She was always so kind and supportive to her family and friends, which resulted in her having a very special connection with a wide network of people from all walks of life, who we know will miss her dearly."

Dr David Woodman, senior tutor at Robinson College, Cambridge University where Ms Cutland was studying said: "Robinson College is deeply shocked by the news of Alana's death. In her two years here she made a huge contribution to many different aspects of life in the College.

"She will be sorely missed by us all. The College extends its sincerest condolences to Alana's family at this extremely difficult time."