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Pictures | Wed Oct 10, 2012 | 8:20am EDT

Living in coffins

<p>A NGO worker speaks to people living in wooden boxes in Hong Kong early October 9, 2012. In Hong Kong's middle-class residential area, short distance from its shopping and financial districts, 24 people live in these wooden boxes, or "coffin homes", packed in a single apartment of little over 50 square meters. Its residents pay 1450 Hong Kong dollars ($180) for their living space built of wooden panels of 2 meters by 70 cm. To maximize income from the rent in central Hong Kong landlords build "coffin homes", nicknamed due to their resemblance to real coffins. Space has always been at a premium in Hong Kong where developers plant high-rises on every available inch. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A NGO worker speaks to people living in wooden boxes in Hong Kong early October 9, 2012. In Hong Kong's middle-class residential area, short distance from its shopping and financial districts, 24 people live in these wooden boxes, or "coffin homes",...more

A NGO worker speaks to people living in wooden boxes in Hong Kong early October 9, 2012. In Hong Kong's middle-class residential area, short distance from its shopping and financial districts, 24 people live in these wooden boxes, or "coffin homes", packed in a single apartment of little over 50 square meters. Its residents pay 1450 Hong Kong dollars ($180) for their living space built of wooden panels of 2 meters by 70 cm. To maximize income from the rent in central Hong Kong landlords build "coffin homes", nicknamed due to their resemblance to real coffins. Space has always been at a premium in Hong Kong where developers plant high-rises on every available inch. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Kam Chung, 49, wears a brace as he rest in a wooden box that he lives in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. In    REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Kam Chung, 49, wears a brace as he rest in a wooden box that he lives in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. In REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Kam Chung, 49, wears a brace as he rest in a wooden box that he lives in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. In REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Kam Chung, 49, adjusts his brace between wooden boxes people use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. I  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Kam Chung, 49, adjusts his brace between wooden boxes people use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. I REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Kam Chung, 49, adjusts his brace between wooden boxes people use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. I REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>King, 18, who works as a bartender smokes his cigarette in a wooden box he uses as living space in Hong Kong October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

King, 18, who works as a bartender smokes his cigarette in a wooden box he uses as living space in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

King, 18, who works as a bartender smokes his cigarette in a wooden box he uses as living space in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A movie is shown on a television in a common area between wooden boxes where people live in, Hong Kong October 9, 2012.    REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A movie is shown on a television in a common area between wooden boxes where people live in, Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A movie is shown on a television in a common area between wooden boxes where people live in, Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>People sit in a common area between wooden boxes they use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

People sit in a common area between wooden boxes they use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

People sit in a common area between wooden boxes they use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Ah Gut, 40, stands between wooden boxes people use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Ah Gut, 40, stands between wooden boxes people use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Ah Gut, 40, stands between wooden boxes people use for living in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>Akee, 34, who works as a waiter rests in a wooden box that he lives in Hong Kong October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

Akee, 34, who works as a waiter rests in a wooden box that he lives in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Akee, 34, who works as a waiter rests in a wooden box that he lives in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>A woman walks in front of a building in which one of the apartments is composed of wooden boxes, that is lived in by people, in central Hong Kong October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

A woman walks in front of a building in which one of the apartments is composed of wooden boxes, that is lived in by people, in central Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A woman walks in front of a building in which one of the apartments is composed of wooden boxes, that is lived in by people, in central Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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<p>An apartment block is seen through the window of a space where people live in wooden boxes in Hong Kong October 9, 2012.   REUTERS/Damir Sagolj</p>

An apartment block is seen through the window of a space where people live in wooden boxes in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

An apartment block is seen through the window of a space where people live in wooden boxes in Hong Kong October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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