Five crew members ended up in the water after the explosion which caused a fire on board the vessel.
The ‘Athlos’ oil tanker sailing under the Malta flag was lying off the Zygi fishing shelter and 200 metres from the shore.
The five crew members were lifted out of the water by rescue services and taken to hospital. Three were later discharged. However, two men remain critically ill suffering from severe burns.
The tanker, with 17 crew on board, was bound for the Greek port of Aspropyrgos and was not carrying fuel other than what it needed for its own passage.
The vessel is listing but not in danger of sinking, experts say. A protective barrier has been place around the tanker in case there should be any oil leaks.