A double-decker bus has been engulfed in flames after catching fire in the Market Place.

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The back of the bus can be seen alight (pic: Kingston Police)

Firefighters from Kingston fire station doused the blaze after they were called out at 9.11am.

The 371 bus driver is being treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics.

A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said the driver had left the bus before firefighers arrived.

Videos posted on social media by Kingston Police show thick black smoke billowing from the back of the bus as flames continued to rage.

A London Ambulance spokeswoman said: "We were called at 9:13am to reports of a fire on High Street, Kingston. 

"We sent an ambulance crew, a cycle paramedic and our hazardous area response team to the scene. 

"We treated one patient at the scene and took them to a hospital in south west London."

Although the cause of the fire has not been confirmed by investigators at London Fire Brigade, PC Sebastian Ellis of Kingston Police said there looked like there had been a diesel leak.

He said: "We were all in the office and saw the bus coming round the corner. It was smoking out the back so we ran out.

"The bus driver had evacuated passengers out of the bus, that may have been why he had smoke inhalation.

"He told us there was about three quarters or 250 litres of diesel on the bus."

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The Market Place was covered with sand to stop a suspected fuel leakage (pic: PC Sebastian Ellis)

He added that firefighters had covered the road in sand to stop any diesel spilling onto the road.

Tony Akers, Transport for London's head of bus operations, said: "At 9am today, a fire occurred on a route 371 double deck bus, operated by Transdev, at the junction of Kingston High Street and Eden Street, KTI.

"Nobody was injured in the incident, which was attended by the London Fire Brigade. There will be a full investigation into the incident."

A hairdresser at Headquarters Hair Salon said: "We just saw the bus on fire, we were in the salon. They blocked the area off and we noticed it because of the smell."

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Hairdressers and customers in Milano Barbers were forced to run back from the flames 

Elsa Bleta, a hairdresser in Milano Barbers, said her colleague had been tending to a customer when they saw something "bright".

She said: "They looked and it was a fire, and they had to move away because they were scared. The diesel tank had spilt everywhere and they thought it was going to explode.

"It looked like a movie scene."

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The back of the bus was completely charred from the flames (picture: Elsa Bleta)