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Madagascar plane fall: Cambridge student Alana Cutland’s body found

The body of a Cambridge University student who fell from a light aircraft in Madagascar has been found.

Alana Cutland was studying natural sciences at Robinson College in Cambridge
Alana Cutland was studying natural sciences at Robinson College in Cambridge

Alana Cutland, 19, from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, fell from the plane on 25 July.

Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary confirmed Ms Cutland’s body had been found in a rural area on Tuesday.

Ms Cutland was studying natural sciences at Robinson College and was on an internship on the African island at the time of her death.

Earlier this week Colonel D’y La Paix Ralaivaonary said Ms Cutland had been frustrated and “disappointed” with her research project.

He said within days of arriving she had seemed to conclude that the project would not be a success.

Ms Cutland had contacted her supervisor on her second day in Madagascar and at least twice more after that, the colonel said.

Police previously said Ms Cutland fell to her death after opening a plane door, but the reason why she did so remains unclear.

They ruled out a possible adverse reaction to anti-malaria medication she was taking, but have since said the theory is “still on the table”.

In a statement released through the Foreign Office last week, Ms Cutland’s family said they were heartbroken at the death of “a bright, independent young woman”.

‘Deeply shocked’
“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,” her family said.

Dr David Woodman, from Robinson College, said they were “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,” he said.BBC News