A CAMBRIDGE University student died after falling out of a plane while she took part in an internship in Madagascar.
The 19-year-old Alana Cutland from Milton Keynes died while on an internship in the north-east of the African island nation earlier this month, the Foreign Office said.
Reports said she fell from a Cessna-style light aircraft as it flew above the savannah after she had been conducting research in the remote area of Anjajavy
Local police are investigating whether the Cambridge University student deliberately threw herself to her death from the two-door Cessna aircraft after carrying out research in the remote area of Anjajavy.
Her body has not yet been recovered.
Police photographs recreating Ms Cutland’s final moments appear to show the pilot and a second passenger grasping hold of the victim’s leg as she hangs out of the plane, in a desperate effort to keep her onboard.
Ms Cutland reportedly eventually plummeted to her death after a tense struggle to free herself.
Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary told The Sun: “The Cessna C168 aircraft was taking off from Anjajavy with three people aboard, including (passenger Ruth) 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 1,130 metres above sea level.
“She dropped into a zone which is full of with 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, off the east coast of Africa.
Cutland was involved in the yoga and mindfulness society at the college, according to its website, and she was also the vice-president of the dance society Cutazz.