Nearly three dozen barges were loose on the Mississippi River after the vessel towing them ran aground.
The US Coast Guard (USCG) was responding to the grounding of the tugboat Joe Bobzien near Caruthersville, Missouri.
USCG also restricted all traffic – except for assist vessels – on a section of the river while the situation remained active.
The 35 barges were loaded with dry cargo. It was not clear if any personnel were injured in the incident nor if there was a fuel spillage.
Assistance was also provided by ACL Transportation Services, a subsidiary of American Commercial Barge Line, in the form of two vessels for assistance.
Jeffersonville, Indiana-based ACL Transportation Services offers fleeting, shifting, cleaning and repair services for barges and towboats.
The cause of the grounding will be investigated by the USCG.