A body has been found amid the search for a British student who is believed to have jumped out of a plane in Madagascar.

Cambridge student Alana Cutland, 19, fell out of the light aircraft over the remote Anjajavy area on 25 July.

She had been finishing an internship in Madagascar while studying for a degree in natural sciences.


According to several news reports quoting local police chief Spinola Nomenjanahary, the body was found just north of the site where Ms Cutland fell.

The identity of the body has not yet been confirmed.

It is due to be flown to the Madagascan capital Antananarivo for toxicology tests.

Police are currently investigating whether the teenager, from Milton Keynes, threw herself to her death from the tiny two-door aircraft.

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The girl’s uncle, Lester Riley, has said she became sick during the trip, which had possibly been caused by medication she had been prescribed.

Some reports have suggested that this could also have been caused by an anti-malaria drug.

Speaking to the Mail Online, Mr Riley said his niece had sounded “pretty incoherent” during a phone call with her mother two days before the incident.

He said: “We think she suffered a severe reaction to some drugs but not anti-malaria ones because she had taken those on her trip last year to China without any side effects.”

Undated handout photo issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of Alana Cutland, whose family have paid tribute to her after she died while on an internship in Madagascar earlier this month
Police are investigating if Alana Cutland was taking a particular anti-malaria drug linked to suicides in the armed forces

The pilot on the plane from which Ms Cutland fell said the teenager had complained of a headache during boarding, but stayed silent throughout the flight.

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He told The Sun that she had then “struggled to get away from us”, opened the door “and jumped”.

“The door did not open itself,” he added.

Pictures released by police showing the second-year student’s final moments appear to show the pilot and the other passenger, Ruth Johnson, holding Ms Cutland’s leg as she dangles from the plane.

She later fell to her death.

Mr Nomenjahary said Ms Cutland had unbuckled her seat belt 10 minutes into the flight, before she “unlocked the right door of the plane and tried to get out”.

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He added: “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.”

Ms Cutland’s family have described the teenager as a “bright, independent woman” who “grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure”.

They went on: “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.

“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.”



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