Cambridge student jumped from plane

A student who plunged to her death from a plane in Madagascar is believed to have landed in a remote savanna filled with wild animals.

Alana Cutland unbuckled her seatbelt and opened a door shortly after take-off, and then jumped out of the Cessna light aircraft despite the pilot and a second passenger’s desperate efforts to stop her.

The 19-year-old, who had been researching crabs as part of her natural science degree, plunged up to 3,700ft, and her body has not been found despite searches by police and villagers in an area populated by fossas, carnivorous cat-like animals.

Alana had been picked up from a remote lodge where she was taking part in an internship, and was on her way back to the UK after her parents became concerned about her, according to reports.

Before the student plunged to her death, the pilot and British tourist Ruth Johnson spent about five minutes struggling to hold on to her and prevent her from jumping out of the door, say police.

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