The four people who lost their lives in the horrific Dreamworld accident may have done so thanks to a faulty water pump, a pre-inquest hearing into the deaths has heard.

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi were killed “almost instantly” when the raft flipped following a collision. Goodchild’s two children, who were also onboard, both survived.

At the hearing today, the court heard that one of the ride’s pumps had stopped working 15 seconds prior to the collision, causing the water levels to drop. News Corp reports that the raft continued along the conveyor and collided with another raft, before being lifted and pulled vertically into the conveyor mechanism. All four victims were caught in the mechanism and either trapped or thrown into the water.

“Each died almost instantly as a result of compressive or crushing injuries as a result of coming into contact with the mechanism of the conveyor,” said counsel assisting Ken Flemming QC at the hearing today.

Fleming proposed splitting the formal inquest into the deaths into two sections. The first, which will likely be heard in June and July, will examine exactly what happened and emergency response, while the second, which will likely be heard at the end of the year, will explore if changes to the law are needed in order to prevent similar tragedies. The dates are yet to be finalised.

Police investigated following the tragedy and have recommended no criminal charges be laid against Dreamworld staff, but the coroner could still suggest prosecutions after hearing evidence.

Another conference before the proposal hearings has been scheduled for May 25.

Image: AAP / Dan Peled