IRVINE (CBSLA) — An Irvine family says extreme heat killed their cat, Sam, on an international flight because of an airline’s negligence.
The family said Qatar Airlines refused to turn on the air conditioning on their connecting flight to Jordan, despite many passengers’ protests about extreme heat making them sweaty and sick.READ MORE: Fatal Pedestrian Collision At PCH And Newland Street In Huntington Beach
Additionally, they said the airline also refused to let them check on the cat and give him water, and that everything on the plane — including the bathroom’s water — was boiling hot.
“I said come and touch the water, it’s really hot. What about the animals down there?” the cat’s owner Heba Mahmoud said. “They said don’t worry, everything will be okay.”
When the family finally got back Sam, he was dead and they said they noticed his carrier and body were hot to the touch.READ MORE: 'Sunday Sessions' Free Concerts Return To Grand Park After Nearly 2 Years
“They single-handedly killed my cat,” said Mahmoud’s daughter Taya Salman. “Proper safety protocols have to be maintained and this airline failed to follow them.”
Qatar Airlines said the incident is being fully investigated, saying the following in a statement:
“Qatar Airways apologizes unreservedly for the tragic loss of our passenger’s pet cat, which is being fully investigated. Qatar Airways transports ten of thousands of animals each year without issue and we are deeply concerned by this tragic loss. The airline has the most stringent procedures in place for the carriage of live animals and maintains a state-of-the-art facility in Doha for their transportation.”MORE NEWS: Authorities Searching For 26-Year-Old Inmate Edgar Benitez Who Walked Away From Minimum-Security Fire Camp
The airline did not respond to KCAL9/CBS2’s request for comment about the air conditioner on the flight.