A method and apparatus for making holes in coal seams in a coal mining system in which hot working gas is employed to impinge on the coal under high pressure and speed in order to disintegrate it and particularly for making inclined or horizontal holes which connect vertical drill holes which lead from the surface to the coal seam and through which the medium for gasifying the coal underground is blown in. The vertical drill holes which lead from the coal seam to the surface are used for blowing out gasification gases which are produced by the operation as well as for delivering the hot working gas. With the method of the invention, a gasification medium of high temperature and pressure is advantageously produced directly at the locations where the disintegrated coal is gasified, the disintegrated coal being formed by a rocket combustion process. With the invention, a hydrogenating gasification medium is used for gasifying the coal seam, for example, a hydrogen steam or hydrogen steam mixture, so that the gas produced possesses the quality of natural gas. An oxidizing gasification medium such as air may also be supplied for gasifying the drillings. The resulting CO and H.sub.2 O gases which are produced are further burned to CO.sub.2 and H.sub.2 O by the oxidizing gasification medium. The gasification medium is not supplied from the surface but is produced at the location at which the gasification takes place, for example, by injecting into the hot working gas, water or the like, carried along from a rocket combustion process. For the rocket combustion process, a fuel is chosen so that the resulting gas is capable of acting simultaneously as a gasification medium and working gas.