Cambridge student plunged to her death after forcing open plane doors

So tragic
Alana Cutland in photos from her Facebook page. CREDIT: Facebook.

A Cambridge University student has fallen to her death after allegedly forcing open the doors of her light aircraft.

Alana Cutland, 19, was on a volunteer trip in Madagascar, East Africa, when she reportedly broke open a door of a light aircraft she was travelling in and jumped to her death, said police.

Her friend Ruth Johnson and the pilot are said to have battled for several minutes to save Alana’s life by grasping on to her before she plunged 5000.

Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary, who re-created the scene in a photo after the incident, explained how it unfolded. 

‘The Cessna C168 aircraft was taking off from Anjajavy with three people aboard, including Ms Johnson, Alana and the pilot.

‘After 10 minutes of flight, Alana undid her seatbelt and unlocked the right door of the plane and tried to get out.

‘Ms Johnson fought for five minutes trying to hold her, but when she was exhausted and out of breath she let go. Alana then intentionally fell from an aircraft at 1130 metres above sea level.’

He added that her body fell into an area filled with carnivorous animals and may never be recovered. 

Police recreate Alana Cutland’s fall from the aircraft.

Local reports are also saying that Alana had several ‘heated’ phone conversations with her parents back home in Britain before her death, although this is still unconfirmed.

Alana had been due to stay in the area on the research trip for six weeks, but it had been cut short to eight days. The trip wasn’t said to be arranged by Cambridge University where she was studying Natural Sciences.

Alana’s parents, Alison and Neil Cutland, both 63, released a tribute to Alana and also asked for privacy. 

 ‘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.

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.’

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