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A dog died after being forced by United flight attendant to stay in an overhead bin

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WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) -- A family flying with United Airlines from Houston to New York faced an unexpected tragedy when their dog died during the flight.

According to fellow passenger June Lara, the family was told by flight attendants that their dog would be fine if he was placed in the overhead container.

"They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family's pet so wearily, the mother agreed," Lara said in a Facebook post.

The Points Guy reports passengers heard barking for part of the flight but by the time the journey ended, the dog was found dead. He passed away during the flight.

United Airlines also accepted responsibility for the incident in a statement to the travel website:

This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. 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.

Another fellow passenger, Maggie Gremminger, posted a picture on Twitter of the mother holding her baby alongside her older daughter. The mother is on the phone standing at the terminal they arrived at.

"I want to help this woman and her daughter. They lost their dog because of an @United flight attendant. My heart is broken," Gremminger said.

United's policy for pets on the plane says they must be carried in a kennel.

A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times.

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