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Hundreds of people stood in line as if waiting to buy tickets to a concert. But they wanted something more precious - a police pass to get them back to their shattered offices downtown.

It took courage for some and humor from others to face a scene that has been giving them nightmares for two days."My right ear is numb just from the sound of it," said Maggie Gates, who was hurled into a brick wall from her desk at an office furniture company near the blast, then helped carry bloody children from a YMCA day-care center.

The bomb not only destroyed the federal building, but also shattered glass, toppled file cabinets and caved in ceilings three and four blocks away.

Police stood at every street corner within five blocks of the federal building Friday, allowing access only to those with passes.

The long lines to apply for passes at the command post frustrated many who were responding to radio pleas for help in cleaning up the debris. They waited with hard hats, leather gloves and a broom.

"We want our city back," said Lana Downey, who had been watching TV for two days and finally decided she needed to help.