CINCINNATI (AP) _ The BASF Corp. agreed Tuesday to pay a $1 million fine resulting from an explosion at one of its chemical plants that killed two workers and injured more than 70 others last July.

The company said it won't contest the fine levied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which found more than 100 violations at the plant.

BASF said its decision to accept the fine doesn't constitute an admission of wrongdoing. The company acknowledged that the July 19 explosion resulted from the improper setting of a valve on a reactor.

''BASF feels that the most productive use of its time and resources is in establishing and maintaining a safe workplace, not in contesting or litigating various points it may have at issue with OSHA,'' a company statement said.

Company spokesman Charles Coe would not discuss those differences with OSHA.

''I'm afraid I really can't go beyond what's in the press release,'' Coe said. ''As you know, several matters have been referred for litigation. We just can't comment beyond what we say in the press release.''

Neighbors have sued the company in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

BASF said it is establishing a $400,000 trust fund to help retrain workers left unemployed by the explosion. The company doesn't plan to resume production at the site, eliminating about 100 jobs.

The company bought the 50-year-old plant in 1985. It produced coatings used in aluminum cans and paper cups. Some business and laboratory activities will continue at the site.

OSHA concluded the company exposed plant workers to dangerous conditions that it knew or should have known about and made no reasonable effort to correct the problems.

The explosion was felt more than a mile from the plant. OSHA concluded it resulted from overpressurizing a reactor vessel that was being cleaned with a flammable solvent.