Iranian man who lived in Paris airport for 18 years dies of heart attack

He received refugee papers but remained in the airport until 2006.

Updated: November 14, 2022 - 5:18pm

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Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian man who lived in the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for 18 years, died of a heart attack on Saturday in that same airport.

Nasseri lived in Terminal 1 from 1988 to 2006, using the airport facilities for hygiene and entertainment alike, according to the Associated Press. He began his stint in the terminal due to his lack of residency papers, but later appeared to voluntarily opt to remain in the facility.

Nasseri had moved back into the airport just weeks before his death, according to an airport official. 

He was born in 1945 in Iran to a British mother and Iranian father and studied in England before returning to his home country from which he was expelled for protesting against the Shah. He failed to secure asylum in European nations and wound up in the airport from which French authorities could not expel him as he had no documents.

He received refugee papers years later but remained in the airport until 2006, when a heart attack prompted his hospitalization.

His story loosely inspired the 2004 Steven Spielberg film "The Terminal," which starred Tom Hanks.