Beds, Herts & Bucks

Madagascar plane fall: Alana Cutland's body found by villagers

Alana Cutland Image copyright Cutland family
Image caption Alana Cutland had been studying natural sciences at Robinson College in Cambridge

The body of a Cambridge University student who fell from a light aircraft in Madagascar was found by villagers and police, a news conference heard.

Alana Cutland, 19, from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, fell from the plane on 25 July and her body was found in a rural area on Tuesday.

At a conference in the capital Antananarivo, police said post-mortem tests would be carried out on Thursday.

Ms Cutland was on an internship on the African island at the time she died.

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

They initially ruled out the possibility she suffered an adverse reaction to anti-malaria medication she was taking, but have since said the theory was "still on the table".

Image copyright Cutland family
Image caption Ms Cutland was on an internship in Madagascar when she died

Earlier this week, Police Colonel D'y La Paix Ralaivaonary said Ms Cutland, who was studying at Robinson College, Cambridge, had been frustrated and disappointed with her research project.

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

The news conference on Wednesday heard the body, confirmed by officers as that of Ms Cutland, was found by three policemen and villagers and was currently being kept at the Anjajavy hotel in the north of the country.

Ms Cutland's body will be brought to the capital on Thursday, where a post-mortem examination will take place at a state hospital.

Image caption Col D'y La Paix Ralaivaonary said Ms Cutland's body was found by villagers and police

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".

"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.

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