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Dazed survivors, shrieking ambulances, a heap of rubble and a carpet of broken glass filled fashionable Arroyo Street.

On what had been a sunny summer day, a plume of thick black smoke rose several hundred feet above the ruins of the Israeli Embassy. Crews passed stretchers, oxy-gen tanks and fire hoses hand-over-hand to rescuers standing atop the rubble."Where are they, by God?" Nora Rodriguez asked repeatedly as she looked for her 4-year-old grandson and her 24-year-old daughter, a maid in one of the buildings near the embassy. No children were reported killed; of the known victims, the only women were Israelis.

As dozens of ambulances and rescue crews converged on the scene survivors staggered out of the wreckage. Firefighters extinguished burning automobiles in front of the destroyed building.

Residents carrying bundles of clothing were evacuated after the Tuesday afternoon explosion. Many cried as they left their homes.

Chunks of concrete were strewn around the site of the French chateau-style embassy. Debris included tree trunks, metal pipes and window frames.

The building alongside seemed to tilt. Two buildings across the street were so badly damaged they may have to be demolished, police said.