Student opens airplane door, falls to death

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FILE – This Jan. 10, 2017 file photo shows British Airways planes parked at Heathrow Airport in London. On Saturday, July 20, 2019, British Airways said it is canceling flights to Cairo for a week for unspecified security reasons. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

LONDON (AP) — Police say a 19-year-old British student fell to her death from a small airplane in Madagascar after opening a door in mid-air.

Cambridge University natural sciences student Alana Cutland fell from a Cessna C168 on the island nation off Africa’s east coast on July 25.

Her body has not been found.

Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary told The Sun newspaper that Cutland unbuckled her seat belt, opened the plane door and tried to get out.

He said another passenger struggled to hold onto her for several minutes before Cutland fell.

Police are investigating what caused the incident.

Cutland’s family said in a statement she “grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure” and was in Madagascar on a research trip.

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