But rescue efforts were still being hampered by "terrible" weather conditions and toxic gases from the burning oil which "pose a great danger to rescuers", the ministry said in a statement.
The entire crew of the Panamanian-registered vessel - 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis - went missing after its collision with the Chinese freighter CF Crystal. A flotilla of 13 search-and-rescue vessels is still looking for them in the 900-square-nautical-mile area around the oil tanker.
The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, a highly flammable ultra-light crude, to South Korea, but it's unlikely the spill will reach the country's shores. It is not clear whether the explosion will cause the boat to sink.
Search and rescue teams from the South Korean Coast Guard have been forced to stay as far as three miles away from the ferocious blaze.
It's the second collision for a ship from the National Iranian Tanker Co.in less than a year and a half.
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