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Friday 23 August 2019

Plane-tragedy student 'jumped to her death'


Alana Cutland reportedly suffered from paranoia attacks. Photo: FCO
Alana Cutland reportedly suffered from paranoia attacks. Photo: FCO

Catherine LeVeux

Police on the African island of Madagascar are investigating whether a British teenager deliberately threw herself to her death after escaping from a tiny two-door plane as it cruised over the savannah.

Cambridge University student Alana Cutland (19) fell from the Cessna after carrying out research in the remote area of Anjajavy on July 25, despite desperate efforts from others on board to keep her inside the plane. Her body has not yet been recovered.

Police photographs re-creating her final moments appear to show the pilot and the second passenger grasping hold of her leg as she hangs out of the plane. Ms Cutland eventually plummeted to her death after a struggle to free herself.

Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary said: "After 10 minutes of flight, Alana undid her seatbelt and unlocked the right door and tried to get out. The other passenger 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 1,130 meters above sea level.

"She dropped into a zone which is full of carnivorous fossa felines."

It was reported Ms Cutland, from Milton Keynes, suffered "paranoia attacks" while on the self-funded but "failed" research trip to the island.

Irish Independent

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