A dog died on a United Airlines flight on Monday after being placed in an overhead bin, the airline confirmed to ABC News.
A fellow passenger said a mother and her two daughters were boarding the flight with their dog when a flight attendant “insisted” that the dog be placed in the overhead bin.
The pet remained in the bin for three-hours and was not given any water, according to reports.
Upon landing, Lara said the dog was unresponsive.
United told ABC News it assumes full responsibility for the dog's death.
“This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” United said in a statement. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”
A passenger on the flight told ABC News that the flight attendant wasn’t aware that there was a dog in the bag when she insisted it be placed overhead.
After hearing that there was a dog in the bag after the flight landed, "the flight attendant seemed frazzled and shocked," the passenger said.
"She said that she did not know there was a dog in the bag and if so she never would have instructed it to be put in the bin above."
According to Department of Transportation statistics, United has the highest rate of incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation, with 2.24 incidents every 10,000 animals transported.