DES MOINES, Iowa --
A group of Southeast Polk school bus riders are safe because of years of training and safety drills. The drills came in handy Monday when a school bus caught fire and exploded.
We've practiced it K through seventh grade. We all had to evacuate as fast as we could, calmly, said Casey McComas, a Southeast Polk student.
It's the law for every one of Iowa's 351 school districts. Students riding in 6000 school buses across the state have to practice emergency evacuation drills every year.
Depending on the situation we go through the emergency windows, the roof hatches, the front of the bus exits, the back of the bus exits and we go through all those exits, said Dan Shultz, transportation director at Southeast Polk Schools.
Max Christensen, the school transportation executive for the Iowa Department of Education, says he saw the dramatic video of the school bus explosion and said the kids' quick escape proved the drills work.
It make us real proud, because that tells us the districts are doing their evacuation procedures as they're supposed to and they're obviously doing a very good job of it, said Christensen.
The kids are proud of themselves too. But theyre still shaken up.
It was just crazy, not something I'd want to do again, said school bus rider Rylie Minks.
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