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Cambridge University student Alana Cutland, 19, dies after falling out of plane in Madagascar

A Cambridge University student has died after falling 5,000ft from a plane while on a study trip in Madagascar – with local reports suggesting she forced the aircraft’s door open.  

Alana Cutland, 19, fell from the Cessna-style light aircraft while it was above the east African country, about ten minutes after take-off, earlier this month.  

The second-year Biological Natural Sciences student, from Milton Keynes, was thought to be on an internship when she plunged to her death in the wild Savannah. 

Police fear her body may never be found after it landed in an area filled with carnivorous wild animals. 

One local report suggested the student had forced open the plane door in front of the horrified pilot and another passenger, though this has not been confirmed.

It also claimed that Alana and her parents had several intense and agitated discussions on the phone in the days leading up to her death. 

Alana’s family say they ‘are heartbroken at the loss of our wonderful, beautiful daughter, who lit up every room she walked in to’. 

Cambridge University student Alana Cutland, 19, fell to her death from a light aircraft above Madagascar 

One local report claimed the student had forced open the aircraft door moments before plunging to her death

One local report claimed the student had forced open the aircraft door moments before plunging to her death

Alana was thought to be travelling back from a research trip to the remote area of Anjajavy.

She was in the country for a university research trip to complement her studies and one other passenger was in the aircraft with her, along with the pilot. 

The internship is understood to have been undertaken privately and was not a Cambridge University study trip. 

Alana’s family have asked for privacy following her death. 

Their statement 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 her life, who we know will miss her dearly.

She fell from the Cessna-style light aircraft while it was above the east African country, about ten minutes after take-off

She fell from the Cessna-style light aircraft while it was above the east African country, about ten minutes after take-off

She was in the east African country for a university research trip to complement her studies

She was in the east African country for a university research trip to complement her studies 

Alana was thought to be travelling back from a research trip to the remote area of Anjajavy

Alana was thought to be travelling back from a research trip to the remote area of Anjajavy

Alana was in the country for a university research trip and one other passenger was in the aircraft with her, along with the pilot

Alana was in the country for a university research trip and one other passenger was in the aircraft with her, along with the pilot

One local report suggested the student had forced open the plane door in front of the horrified pilot and another passenger

One local report suggested the student had forced open the plane door in front of the horrified pilot and another passenger

‘Alana grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure, always seeking to extend her knowledge and experience in the best ways possible.

‘She was particularly excited to be embarking on the next stage of her education, on an internship in Madagascar complementing her studies in Natural Sciences.

‘Alana was also a talented dancer and embraced the more creative side of her talents with joy and commitment.

‘Her thirst for discovering more of the world always ensured she made the most of every second of her action-packed young life.

‘We are heartbroken at the loss of our wonderful, beautiful daughter, who lit up every room she walked in to, and made people smile just by being there.’

A friend told the Sun: ‘She was amazing, one of the most beautiful and pure girls I’ve ever known – inside and out.

‘The whole thing has been a nightmare for her family and friends back home in the UK.

Alice Cutland celebrating after she had passed her driving test in January 2017. Her family have paid tribute to her

Alice Cutland celebrating after she had passed her driving test in January 2017. Her family have paid tribute to her

Her family said in a statement: 'Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her'

Her family said in a statement: ‘Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her’

Her family said that Alana was also a talented dancer and she was Vice President of the student-run society dance society Cutazz, of the University of Cambridge

Her family said that Alana was also a talented dancer and she was Vice President of the student-run society dance society Cutazz, of the University of Cambridge 

Dr David Woodman, of Robinson College, Cambridge University, said in a statement: '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'

Dr David Woodman, of Robinson College, Cambridge University, said in a statement: ‘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’

As well as being a talented dancer, Alana was involved in the yoga and mindfulness society at university

As well as being a talented dancer, Alana was involved in the yoga and mindfulness society at university

‘We knew she was getting some sort of plane trip last week to study the seabed on a neighbouring island, but then contact went dead and we started to fear the worst.

‘Alana had so much going for her. She loved animals and nature and was over the moon to be going to Madagascar to pursue her passion.’

Dr David Woodman, of Robinson College, Cambridge University, said in a statement: ‘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.’

Alana was involved in the yoga and mindfulness society at the college, according to its website. 

She was also a talented dancer and Vice President of the student-run dance society Cutazz, at Cambridge University.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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