Connecticut, US - The pavilion must have seemed safe to Mauricio Bugatti when a thunderstorm suddenly raced over Hammonasset beach last weekend. But he stood too close to a wooden pillar, and that's most likely what killed him.

Bugatti, 23, of West Haven, died when lightning struck the pavilion Sunday at West Beach in Hammonasset Beach State Park. Four others who stood near the same pillar - including a 12-year-old - were injured. Those seeking shelter from the storm probably did not realize it, but the pavilion was one of the worst places to be, according to Richard Kithil, founder and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Lightning Safety Institute in Denver. When a lightning bolt hits, it jumps from one object to the next on its way to the ground, and it is drawn to human bodies because of their high saltwater content, experts said.

Three of the four injured - Marangelie Calderon-Otero, 19, of Hartford; Leonardo Yavagnilio, 32, of West Haven; and the 12-year-old, of Hartford - were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. Bugatti and the fifth victim, Gabriel Henriquez, 26, of West Haven, were taken to Shoreline Medical Center in Essex. Bugatti was pronounced dead there.