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'Lady Vengeance' star Lee Young-ae helps send body of Itaewon crowd crush victim home to Russia

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South Korean actress Lee Young-ae of Jewel In The Palace and Lady Vengeance fame has offered financial aid to help the family of an Itaewon crowd crush victim send her body home to Russia.

Partygoers were caught in a fatal crowd crush while in the popular Itaewon district to celebrate Halloween on the night of October 29. According to a Korea Times report, the tragedy has claimed the lives of at least 156 people. Among the fatalities, 26 were foreigners, including 25-year-old Yuliana Park of Russia.

According to a report from Korean news outlet Newsis on November 3, Yuliana’s father is a third-generation Goryeo-in (ethnic Korean residing in the former Soviet Union) who spoke to the media about the immense costs required to transport his late daughter’s body to her hometown in Russia.

Yuliana’s family is in need of over $5,000 (about £4,300) to cover the cost of domestic and international transportation, embalmment and other logistics, according to Newsis. Yuliana’s father, who works at a nursing home, also shared that he’s unable to foot the entire bill on his own.

In response, Lee Young-ae released a statement via the Korean Welfare Foundation for the Disabled, per Newsis, detailing her intention to provide financial support to Yuliana’s family. Lee currently serves the Foundation as the chairman of its Advisory Committee on Culture and Arts.

Aside from Lee’s contributions, Newsis also reported that the Russian community in South Korea launched a fundraiser for Yuliana, and that the Russian embassy in Seoul offered to chip in funds for transportation costs not just for Park, but for other Russian citizens in need of support following the Itaewon tragedy.

According to a separate report from SBS News, Yuliana’s body is now scheduled to be repatriated to Vladivostok on November 4.

South Korea is currently in a period of national mourning for the Itaewon crowd crush that lasts till November 5. As a result, the country’s entertainment industry has paused and postponed events, planned releases and promotional schedules.

Earlier this week, the agency of actor Yoo Ah-in denied rumours he was in Itaewon on October 29 following speculation that a celebrity sighting in the nightlife district triggered the deadly crowd crush.

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