South Korean actor Yoo Ah-in’s agency has denied rumours the actor was in the Seoul district of Itaewon the night of the crowd crush that took over 150 lives.
On November 1, United Artists Agency (UAA) released a statement informing the public that Yoo, best known internationally for appearing in Netflix productions Hellbound and Seoul Vibe, was not in the nightlife district on that date. “Yoo Ah-in had no part in what happened in Itaewon,” it said.
The agency added that Yoo “had business outside the country”, and had left South Korea on October 29, the day the incident occurred. According to UAA, the actor is currently still abroad.
According to Korea JoongAng Daily, UAA’s statement comes after people in online communities who claimed to be witnesses to the Itaewon tragedy alleged that a popular celebrity and influencer had been in the area that same night.
Some speculated that the celebrity’s presence was the cause of the crowd crush, as people flocked to catch a glimpse of them. Several names, Yoo included, were then floated by people claiming to have spotted a celebrity in Itaewon that night.
The South Korean government has yet to share an official cause for the incident. Police are currently investigating several claims made by witnesses on the scene, Yonhap News Agency reports. These include the rumoured celebrity sighting and claims that some store owners in the area did not allow entry to those fleeing the crush. However, officials have yet to identify any criminally punishable acts.
As of November 1, the Itaewon crowd crush has claimed 156 lives, per The Korea Times. Among these fatalities was 24-year-old actor Lee Ji-han, who first rose to prominence in 2017 as a contestant on Produce 101 Season 2.
Lee’s agencies confirmed on October 30 that the actor had passed away in the crowd crush. “We also hoped that it wasn’t true, and we were very shocked to hear the news. The family is suffering immense grief right now, so we are being very cautious. May he rest in peace,” said 935 Entertainment.