University of Cambridge student Alana Cutland dies after falling from plane in Madagascar
A 19-year-old University of Cambridge student has died in Madagascar after falling from a plane.
Alana Cutland’s family said they were “heartbroken” at the death of their “wonderful, beautiful daughter”.
Robinson College, where she was reading natural sciences, issued a statement saying she will “be sorely missed”.
Reports quoting Madagascan police said that she fell from a Cessna C168 aircraft after breaking open the door as it flew over the savannah in the remote area of Anjajavy on July 25.
The sole fellow passenger, British tourist Ruth Johnson, and the pilot had tried in vain to stop her, according to the reports.
Alana, from Milton Keynes, in Buckinghamshire, had been on an internship in the African island nation.
In a statement released through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, her family said: “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.”
Alana had been a dancer since the age of four, and was vice president of the student-run dance society CUTAZZ.
On its website, she wrote: “Being a member of the street competition team this year has also been a lot of fun, it’s boosted my confidence and given me the opportunity to develop my own style. I’m really looking forward to another fab year with CUTAZZ!”
Robinson College’s Dr David Woodman issued a statement saying: “Robinson College is 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.
“The college extends its sincerest condolences to Alana’s family at this extremely difficult time.”
If you are struggling and need someone to talk, contact the Samaritans. They are available 24/7, 365 days a year - call 116 123 for free, email email@example.com or visit https://www.samaritans.org/.