The deceased include hawkers and pedestrians, eyewitnesses say; several others have sustained lifethreatening injuries from the carnage.
The white van, with registration number, AS-6403-Y, was said to have failed on the brakes, during a push on a hill to trigger its ignition.
Many hawkers and pedestrians who were caught unawares were hit by the vehicle in the freefall, killing three women and a man, eyewitnesses have said.
One of the deceased women was said to have been shopping for her daughter who had gotten placement in SHS; the girl collapsed upon seeing her mother killed in that gory manner.
The body of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary at the time of filing this story.
The driver is currently in the custody of the police; the vehicle has been impounded.