The man who was killed Friday in an explosion in Rockport was an inmate at Bolduc Correctional Facility who was participating in a work release program.

According to information released Saturday by the Maine Department of Corrections, Sean Rancourt, 39, was due to be released from prison in September after serving six years on drug trafficking charges.

Emergency crews at Rockport Steel as officials investigate a fatal explosion Friday. Steve Betts/The Courier-Gazette

Rancourt sustained fatal injuries when a fuel tank exploded Friday afternoon at Rockport Steel, a metal fabrication business. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but officials have said Rancourt was welding a 25-gallon diesel fuel tank for a boat when it exploded.

The Department of Corrections said Rancourt worked at Rockport Steel as part of a work release program – something that is common for incarcerated individuals, particularly those who are soon to be transitioning back into the community.

No one answered the phone at Rockport Steel on Saturday.

According to previously published reports, Rancourt, of Waterville, was charged in 2017 with aggravated trafficking of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that has become Maine’s deadliest drug.


Rancourt sold drugs to Kevin Hubert, a longtime friend who was then found dead two hours later on his bathroom floor. Investigators who responded to Hubert’s death were able to link him to Rancourt through cellphone messages.

Rancourt was sentenced to 15 years in prison with all but eight suspended. He had previously spent more than three years in jail for an aggravated criminal mischief conviction in 2014.

At sentencing on the drug charges, Rancourt’s attorney, Walter McKee, said his client said he felt terrible that he contributed to his friend’s death.

“Sean had no idea that the drugs that Kevin bought from Sean were so powerful that they would result in Kevin’s death,” McKee said. “If he knew, he never, ever would have sold them to him.”

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